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Greater Metro

Craigmont High students on a road to self-discovery

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Every high school student has passions and interests that are unique to them. However, many young people have trouble connecting what they are naturally interested in – whether it is playing video games, reading mystery novels, or catching bugs in their back yard – to a potential career down the road.

With that challenge in mind, Roadtrip Nation – with the support of AT&T and the AT&T Foundation – is set to produce a mobile-friendly curriculum that helps high school students connect their studies to career pathways. The goal is to help students connect the dots between their personal interests and real world opportunities.

Earlier this year, Roadtrip Nation received $1 million from AT&T and the AT&T Foundation to produce a mobile-friendly curriculum that helps students at risk of dropping out of high school connect their studies and interests to real-world opportunities. With this new funding, Roadtrip Nation will extend its program offerings to 10,000 students in six states, including Tennessee.

The curriculum engages students in self-reflection exercises to help identify their interests. Roadtrip Nation's vast interview archive, which contains video interviews with hundreds of successful real-world leaders spanning every industry, allows students to learn the steps the featured leaders took to get where they are today.

To make the learning process more tangible to students' lives, the curriculum project sends students out on their own "Roadtrips" to interview local leaders in their communities who share their interests. Throughout the experience, students connect to an online student community, where they can share their projects and connect with like-minded peers who share their same goals.

On Friday (Nov. 1) from noon to 2 p.m., Roadtrip Nation will host a live engagement event at Craigmont High School, which will be adopting the Roadtrip Nation Experience curriculum with its students this school year. The kickoff event, which will feature interactive activities, is designed to bring career exploration to life, with speakers to include state Sen. Reginald Tate, state Rep. Antonio Parkinson and community leader Dan Lord.

"This is an exciting and creative program to engage students in career exploration; allowing them to discover career options and share their learnings," said Tate. "I am excited to join the students at Craigmont High School to share my experiences and to hear from them about their goals and career desires."

Parkinson said exposing students to career options and helping them develop a career path is important to their lives, the city and the state.

"I applaud Craigmont High School, Roadtrip Nation and AT&T for engaging in this exciting endeavor," said Parkinson.

Chuck Thomas, regional director for AT&T, said The Roadtrip Nation Experience motivates students to find and then follow their own passions in life.

"By bringing the real world into the classroom and connecting the dots between students' personal interests and potential careers, we hope to show the relevance of learning and further combat forces that drive students to dropout," said Thomas.

The support for Roadtrip Nation is part of AT&T Aspire, AT&T's $350 million commitment to education. With more than 1 million students impacted since its launch in 2008, Aspire is one of the nation's largest corporate commitments focused on helping more students graduate from high school ready for college and careers.

"The heart of our curriculum is to allow students to map their interests to future pathways in life," said Mike Marriner, co-founder, Roadtrip Nation.

"With the help of AT&T, we will be able to deliver this valuable program to underserved schools and students across the nation in need of new, dynamic opportunities to explore pathways for their futures."