The barriers that our young people are navigating are far too many. Limited access to resources and mentors to support their life aspirations are one of many. That’s why, in 2021, PeacePlayers – U.S. added a career readiness pilot to our Brooklyn Leadership Development Program (LDP). We partnered ›with local workforce development groups and members of our PeacePlayers community to pilot programming to equip our young people with practical skills and resources to thrive in the workplace and pursue dignified, family-sustaining careers. Following the success of that pilot, this year, we expanded career readiness activities to our Los Angeles and Detroit sites. 100% of our 120+ LDP participants in those locations got to strengthen soft skills and build on practical professional skills. They gained exposure to diverse industries, and through experiential programming hosted at partner offices, youth engaged with black and brown professionals and learned about their career paths. Last but not least, they had safe and supportive environments to practice those skills.
One example of what we’re doing to boost our youth’s career prospects is the Career Summit held in Brooklyn in the summer of 2023. At the Career Summit, hosted in partnership with LIU Brooklyn and the Roc Nation School of Music, Sports & Entertainment, LDP and Alumni youth participated in a full day of programming on owning their story. Professionals from Cutwater Agency, LK Wellness, DEI Dream Financial, and The Client Agency provided our youth with expert insight on successfully navigating through their career journeys. Youth received professional headshots to build out their online presence and took part in engaging workshops led by industry experts on topics such as financial literacy, resume building and pitching yourself, Entrepreneurship, and healthy methods of dealing with career stress and burnout. As we prepare our youth for life on and off the basketball court, we look forward to more events like the Career Summit, so that they have the skills, resources, and professional connections to be the architects of their unique futures while also making a positive impact on their communities.