Your Connecting Activities Newsletter - April 2020
Career Planning Outside the Box During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 public health emergency reminds us that we live in an ever-changing world, and we have to prepare our students for a future we cannot even imagine. Did you know t he half-life of a learned skill is now less than 5-years? This means that much of what students learned 10 years ago will obsolete and half of what you learned 5 years ago is irrelevant.

And the world of work has changed dramatically since WWII and every year the rate of change increases exponentially. The inheritance of large, complex global issues such as climate change, immigration, instability in the Middle East, shifts in world power overlaid with local disruptive events such as the Columbia gas explosion can leave anyone feeling overwhelmed. And now the lived experience of the COVID-19 pandemic. No wonder, the mental health of youth is reported to be worsening.

How can we help students explore new possibilities and envision a different future? Click here to find out!
Workshops Available for Online Learning
The MMVWB Connecting Activities team is hard at work adapting workshops to be used online. Each one includes a PowerPoint presentation, student activities done through online links or fillable forms, and a video introducing the class to the topic at hand.

Contact any member of our team to obtain materials for the exciting workshops listed below!
Connecting Activities is Here to Help!
During normal times Connecting Activities provides workshops, but we also offer many other career development services. We do career counseling with individual students, and arrange company tours, job shadows, college tours, job fairs and more.

During the COVID-19 crisis email or call us to:
  • Arrange for our counselors to meet with your students via Zoom
  • Obtain our virtual college tours, now ready for visits to UMass Lowell, WPI and NECC
And let us know how to best serve you by completing poll below:
Quick Poll: Learning Materials
What online learning tools are most useful to you?
Online Fillable Worksheets
CA Bridges to Success:
Emily Kelley: WPI Robotics Engineering Student

I always wanted to be an inventor. I love taking things apart and learning to put them back together. 

During high school I took advantage of every opportunity to advance toward becoming an inventor. I was accepted into Haverhill High School’s NAF Academy of Information Technology that prepares students for technology careers.
At HHS, the Connecting Activities and YouthWorks programs offered experiences for students to learn about education and careers in engineering. I joined both. Connecting Activities tours to Magellan Aerospace and Casa Systems exposed me to a variety of technical careers. Through YouthWorks Year Round I took a CompTia A+ course, which prepared me for the rigors of college.  

As a sophomore, I did my first HHS internship and took AP Computer Science. This gave me the freedom to explore more challenging courses as an upperclassmen, so I enrolled in the Early College program at NECC. I also strengthened my engineering skills as Programming Captain for the Robotics Team and by participating in 2 more internships. 

During my junior year Connecting Activities sponsored a field trip to Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). I knew the second I stepped on campus this was where I was meant to be. My dad had mentioned once that when he visited there for work, it was like a campus filled with Emilys. As I sat in a presentation on the tour, every single point they made lined up perfectly with my goals for what I wanted out of my college experience.
At the end of senior year, I received the official acceptance email from WPI for Robotics Engineering. I always wanted to be an inventor, but my experiences at HHS and with CA and YWYR helped pave the way to get accepted at my #1 college. WPI awarded me credits for my AP and Early College classes. As I finish up my freshman year, I’m on track to earn my Master’s Degree in Robotics Engineering in 4 years.
On the Horizon:
YouthWorks Summer Jobs!

The Merrimack Valley YouthWorks Summer Program is coordinating with state YW leaders to determine new application processes and deadlines considering the COVID-19 public health emergency. We still have high hopes that we’ll be able to offer subsidized employment experiences for Lawrence, Methuen, and Haverhill youth aged 14-21 during summer 2020.

New for 2020: Diverse employment experiences by age and interest!
  • Tier 1: Project and Service based experiences for 14-15 year olds
  • Tier 2: STEM internship placements and subsidized jobs for 16-21 year olds with local nonprofits, public agencies and businesses
  • Tier 3: Information Technology Career Exploration and internships for 17-21 year olds

Stay tuned for more information!
Postponements: Both the April 5 STEM SUMMIT and May 7 CA Statewide Conference have been postponed until the fall.
Career Development Education (CDE) = Awareness + Exploration + Immersion
Connecting Activities is a program funded by the MA Dept. of Elementary & Secondary Education. 
It’s operated by the MassHire Merrimack Valley Workforce Board.