Are Teens Prepared for the Future?
Are Teens Prepared for the Future? (351)
(NewsUSA) - Among the latest tech gadgets, cell phones and social media sites, today's teen is more connected than ever. Although teens are surrounded by a flurry of electronics and digital media, are they gaining the skills needed to succeed in a technology-driven world?
According to the Department of Commerce, students educated in science, technology, engineering and math at any level make 26 percent more money overall than counterparts who have studied in other fields.
Several non-profits and corporations have rallied together to highlight the importance of teaching young people critical digital literacy skills.
"The access to technology kids get outside of school is often an important complement to the learning that happens in the classrooms," said Dan Rauzi, senior director of technology programs at Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
Boys & Girls Clubs has a long history of providing educational and developmental programs for youth in communities nationwide. Through a national partnership with Microsoft and Comcast, its Club Tech program provides free software and access to technology lessons to youth of all ages. In 2010 alone, the program reached over 850,000 kids who learned how to design posters, collaborate on film projects and make their own music.
Daniel Flores, 16, has participated in Club Tech for two years at Boys & Girls Club of Greater Holland, Mich. He believes the skills he is acquiring in graphic design will help him get into an art college and pursue a career one day. In fact, he's started his own small business offering Web and graphic design services.
"I wanted to create a business that helps other companies market and promote their ideas by developing websites, logos and print making," Flores said.
According to a recent study, teens like Flores who participate in after-school technology programs exhibit a more positive outlook on their future. Many also become more positive about finishing high school and attending college.
"Club Tech is more than just providing computers. We give kids and teens an opportunity to express themselves artistically and engage with technology in a way that builds confidence and real-world skills," added Rauzi.