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June 24, 2019
Northwest Missouri State University graduate students recently helped Kansas City-area youth exploring post-secondary options and career paths during a workshop the students developed during two years of coursework.
The April 9 workshop at Northwest-Kansas City was a collaborative effort between Youth R.I.S.E Kansas City and the Northwest’s Master of Science in Education program in school counseling. Youth R.I.S.E is a non-profit 501c3 charity organization that aims to reach at-risk youth and provides opportunities that may not otherwise be afforded due to socioeconomic status and other factors impacting youth success.
The graduate students developed and implemented the post-secondary planning workshop for students involved in Youth R.I.S.E. The workshop assisted the youth with practicing college and job applications and interviewing skills, as well as academic planning to meet graduation requirements and support career paths.
“It was amazing to see how thankful and respectful the group of teens was to allow us to teach them for a night about things that we had been learning and preparing for,” Haley Klein, who completed her first year in the Northwest graduate program this spring, said. “It was definitely one of the experiences I will remember from my first tasks as a counselor.”
Northwest graduate students gained experience with large group presentation planning and implementation, individual student career and academic planning activity design and implementation, and experience evaluating outcomes of intervention activities.
Klein said she benefitted from the project by working with youth as well as exposure to large group counseling. Klein, who received her bachelor’s degree at Northwest in elementary education last year, is employed as an early childhood educator at Mosaic Child Care and Education Center in Maryville.
“The workshop definitely enhanced my skills of school counseling in ways that I didn't expect,” Klein said. “I am one that is very comfortable working with children and young kids, so this experience had me very nervous to begin with, but once we got started it opened my eyes that I could even love working with young adults in the future as well.”
Students developed the workshop through coursework, under the instruction of Northwest faculty Michele Veasey and Dr. Shelly Hiatt. The students were challenged with developing a three- to four-hour workshop for individuals involved in Youth R.I.S.E., using information they gathered from their studies of the occupational and educational fields as well as advanced child and adolescent psychology.
“The event was a big success, and Youth R.I.S.E hopes for this to continue and evolve for their students as do we,” Veasey said.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
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