San Antonio (August 15, 2013). Jobs are increasingly hard for young people to obtain these days, and can be more challenging for those with disabilities, but thankfully a local program is offering opportunities for young people to engage in career preparation. Job Adventures, an innovative career focused program for young adults with disabilities is offering employers a new way to connect with motivated job seekers.
Participants at Job Adventures have many opportunities throughout the program to explore careers through classroom instruction, guest speakers, job tours, and other interactive learning strategies. One exciting way the program engages students in career exploration is through a career scavenger hunt.
For the Job Adventures Career Scavenger Hunt, the students at Job Adventures formed teams and were chauffeured to a local employers of their interest by staff members. They were awarded points based on what they did at those places: 10 points for taking a picture in front of the business, 15 points for a business card, 20 points for collecting an application, 30 points for a job description, 40 points for having a picture taken with an employee, and 50 points for having a picture taken with the hiring manager.
They were given two hours to see what they could accomplish. While the time limit was challenging, the competitive nature of the activity forced the students to think strategically about which employers to visit. Once they arrived at a destination the students rushed in and did not hesitate to approach an employer and explain why they were there. The level of interest the employers showed in the students and the Job Adventures program was very encouraging. The employers were more than happy to talk to the students and be a part of their career scavenger hunt.
While the students were learning about local employers, practicing communication skills, social skills, and making connections, the Job Adventures program was also making connections that could lead to some new employer partnerships. This simple activity was a great way to introduce employers to the program and could lead to even more opportunities for students to explore different career paths. San Antonio employers were more than ready to help these students develop the skills that would make them competitive in today's workforce.
Olivia Sturgess, Director of Job Adventures stated, "I wonder how many other employers are out there willing to help but not aware of how to get involved. This career scavenger hunt was only one small example of the employment focus at Job Adventures, but it serves as a powerful example of how Job Adventures reaches out to the community for the support these young people need. It is career exploration activities like this that leads to mentoring, job shadowing, internships, and, perhaps eventually, meaningful employment for people with disabilities."