Sunday, July 02, 2017

Make sure Pipeline to Careers has roots in all poverty neighborhoods

See pipeline in this article
I've used graphics like this often to visualize a system of youth supports that starts at pre-school and continues until a young person is in a job and taking on adult responsibilities.  While we spend billions as a nation to help people who live in poverty many programs only focus on pieces of the problem, not the entire pipeline. If there's a gap in support, the pipe leaks. In many cases this can be life changing if kids get drawn into gangs, drugs, or other negative habits.

See article
As we enjoy this 4th of July weekend and think of the blessings that most Americans enjoy, I hope you'll take a few moments to think of ways you can use your time, talent, leadership, dollars, influence and votes to create a support system that makes more of these blessings available to everyone in America and to others around the world.

This "mentoring kids to careers" graphic is a different version of the pipeline, but emphasizes the same points. At each age group kids need specific types of support to help them move to the next age level. Most kids living outside of extreme poverty and segregated neighborhoods, and in smaller cities and towns, have more of these supports available to them than do kids living in high poverty areas of big cities.

See article
This is a third version of the same idea. In this case I use "oil well" as a symbol for the birth to work support kids need. I posted these on a map of Chicago, where the darker red areas are neighborhoods of  high poverty where this type of support systems needs to be created and sustained for many years.  One role researchers can take is to create asset maps of different zip codes to identify support programs that are available and find ways to help them do good work. Such maps can also show gaps in service that need to be filled, which are where the "pipeline" is broken.

The graphic below combines some of these elements. At the right is another graphic showing the birth to work support system, along with a map emphasizing a need for support to be available in all high poverty areas.  To the right I focus on building and sustaining public will to make this happen, and the need to influence people who don't live in poverty, as well as those who operate the schools and non-profits that need to become available to more kids and families in more places.

See complete collection of concept maps
If you open the links on the graphic above, which are the small boxes under each node, you'll find other articles that feature these graphics in more detail.

As you're enjoying the holiday, I hope you'll take some time to look at this, and bookmark the page, so in coming weeks you can dig deeper into these ideas and share them with friends, family, co-workers, alumni and others who also are celebrating this weekend.

While I've written articles like this for many years, many leaders are needed to re-frame this message and evangelize it in more places to more people.  Leaders who champion and spread these ideas could be students in middle school, high school, college and/or Phd students. They could be faith leaders, business leaders, athletes, rappers, even politicians.

Share links to articles you post with these ideas, in the comment box, or on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.

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