“What would you tell your 10-year-old self?”

This is one of many questions posed to career leaders who participated in Read to Lead: Discover, a virtual career fair that introduces middle school students from across the country to an exciting range of professions.

On November 19th, more than one thousand students joined Read to Lead: Discover for an afternoon of career exploration. Students were divided into various breakout rooms, which allowed them to interact with professionals working in industries such as technology, real estate, pharmacy, education, and the performing arts. Throughout the day, these middle school students were given an opportunity to imagine their own career paths as they learned about the journeys and current roles of the career leaders involved.

 Watch the re-cap REEL on Instagram! ▶️

The keynote speaker was Kwamara Thompson, who works to elevate Read to Lead’s national community of educators and leads the strategic vision for school partner acquisition and retention. She shared with the students how pursuing a career is not always a straight line, but one that might have hills to climb as well as detours. 

Read to Lead: Discover expands on Read to Lead’s innovative learning games, which empower students to “be the boss” in immersive workplace scenarios while building their literacy and leadership skills. Originally imagined by Read to Lead’s passionate community of educators, the career fair is designed to provide middle school students with real-world insights into how their own skills and talents can contribute to their future career journey. 

For teachers, the exposure to careers at the middle school age is invaluable. One teacher expressed that she appreciated how students could participate in live sessions with a number of career leaders. One student responded that they enjoyed “asking about their career experiences and challenges,” while another shared that it was interesting to learn about jobs in human resources, a field they did not previously know about.

Kerri Rauschenbach, Senior Director of IT Governance at General Atlantic, shared why she chose to participate as a career leader:

“I love how the program, Read to Lead, provides children the opportunity to apply their reading, writing, and social-emotional skills in real world situations. I would have loved this program when I was in my middle school years.”

💙 This fall’s Read to Lead: Discover was made possible through the generous signature sponsorship of the General Atlantic Foundation, along with the sponsorship of Empire State Realty Trust. 

Are you and your company interested in participating in our next Read to Lead: Discover in spring 2022? Email Matt Chacko at mchacko@readtolead.org to join in on our next career exploration day!

About Read to Lead

Read to Lead uses the power of game-based learning to empower middle school students to build literacy, life, and career skills. Teachers can sign up for a free account to get started!