By Keo Xiong, AALEAD Staff
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
You have probably been asked, and have answered, this question many times. Was your answer always the same? Did it change with each ask? If I were to ask you, right now, what you want to be when you grow up (we are always growing up, even when we think we’re grown up!), what would you say?
AALEAD youth at Argyle recently participated in multiple career exploration workshops to learn about their dream careers, as well as careers they might not have considered or known about before. We kicked off the workshops with guest speaker Dr. Hweyon Lee, U.S. Public Health Service Dental Officer, who taught youth about oral health, careers in dentistry, and how she found her path to dentistry. Youth practiced proper teeth brushing with models and won toothpaste prizes by answering questions posed by Dr. Lee. Through Dr. Lee’s workshop, youth learned about the importance of oral health as an integral part of one’s overall health and well-being.
In other workshops, youth learned about themselves and how their personalities and interests inform their career choices. After taking the Holland Personality Survey, youth explored a variety of careers that match their personality. They also discovered new career possibilities they had not considered before, such as botany, landscape architecture, and genetics. AALEADers are a talented bunch and their answers to the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” truly reflect that. During a free-write session following the workshops, youth wrote about their dreams for their future 25-year-old self. Youth were encouraged to push the limits of possibility and to share information about their jobs, place of residence, family, and anything else they wanted to include. AALEADers’ career interests are not only a reflection of their talents, but also of their interests, family, and friends. I learned so much about each of these youth through this activity and am inspired by their dreams and goals. Below are some excerpts from their entries.
“Today is my 25th birthday and I just got the greatest job as a veterinarian. I live in California with my family in a single house. I like to play on my tablet and read.”
“Today is my 25th birthday. I got the greatest job in the TCS [The Capitol Symphonic Youth] Orchestra playing an English folksong and all the songs from my youth. I drove my flying car to work today.”
“When I become 25 I will work at a job that works with athletes. Here are some jobs: coach, head coach, GM [general manager of a team], physical therapist.”
“I got offered the greatest job: film editing a zombie movie. Zombie movies make a lot of money so I’ll get more money than my other offers.”
“Currently in Korea with Vicky. I’m currently a back-up dancer for K-artists. From nine years ago, I knew I would never really “sing” but dance stuck with me. It’s fun because I get to meet all these talented people. If I ever get tired of this job, perhaps I’ll go back to the U.S. and do biology. Maybe I’ll get married too…maybe.”
“Today is my 25th birthday and I just got the greatest job as a research specialist. I get to work all day with a subject I love. I also get to see my dad at work as he is now a historian. It doesn’t feel like work. I live in my own apartment in College Park [MD] and I hang out with my friends Rinn (champion horse rider), Ellie (gold medalist gymnast), Cameron (famous quarterback), and Christian (famous soccer player).
P.S. I actually think all of this WILL happen.”
“Today is my 25th birthday and I just got the greatest job, a K-Pop [Korean Pop] artist. I practice vocal and dance every day and I also improve too. And my family supports my dream, after a thousand times of convinces and tries. It is blessed and wonderful to see my new albums selling; to perform around the world; and meet my idols and fans.”
“I come home for my birthday and meet up with my family. My cousins invite me to play basketball outside. We see a shiny Ferrari pulling in after me and my team won [the game]. He [person in the car] asks to talk to me and says ‘Happy Birthday.’ He gives me an invitation to the NBA Rookie Showcase.”
I hope these youth and their dreams have inspired you! Like them, don’t be afraid to push the limits of possibility! So, let me ask you again, what do you want to be when you grow up?