TKF’s Career Academy is a new program TKF  will launch in January of 2018 by partnering with Chicagoland graduate school students and Chicago Public Schools (“CPS”). MBA, Juris Doctor, and Medical students will teach a class one time per month at a local CPS school to teach students about a variety of careers within the Medical, Legal, and STEM fields. TKF will pair graduate student volunteers with schools. TKF will provide lesson plans and/or power points to graduate students so that they can focus solely on teaching the class. TKF will also host a telephonic training with all volunteers. The lesson will include an informational portion about a particular career, as well as an interactive activity that the graduate students will perform with the students. The power points will be created with TKF’s Career Academy Board, which consists of professionals within the target careers.


What is the purpose of the Career Academy?
The Career Academy hopes to educate students about the variety of careers available within a specific field to peak high school students’ interest in a particular career. We specifically focus on the highest paid careers within the target fields (i.e. STEM, legal, and medical fields) because studies show that diverse college students select majors that lead to the lowest paying careers out of college. This is particularly problematic for students who live in underserved communities because they are their own safety net and generating a stable income out of college not only allows them to provide for themselves, but in many instances, their families. Bottom line, there is no way to diversify fields which our students don’t know exist. The Career Academy seeks to expand the awareness of participants beyond the careers they typically learn about in school.


How do we measure the success of the Career Academy?

At the beginning of a graduate student-led session, the students receive a brief survey, which takes less than 5 minutes to complete. This survey will ask them their career interest and test their awareness of a particular field being discussed in class that day. At the end of the class, students are given another survey — just two questions — which asks them whether they (1) learned of a new career and (2) would want to explore possibly
entering that career. Our hope is that 30-50% of student participants learn of a new career after one of our Career Academy sessions; That would be a measure of success. Furthermore, students have the option of
participating in our mentoring program, launching during the 2018 - 2019 school year. At bottom, the goal of the organization, as well as this program, is to expose students to new careers, empower them through
mentoring to enter a target career field, and educate them on what it takes to succeed therein.


How can we solidify a partnership with the Career Academy?
To participate as a partner graduate or CPS school, simply email thekirkwoofoundation@gmail.com and either the Jr. Program Manager or Executive Director will schedule an initial meeting with you to explain the
program’s details and solidify the details of the partnership.


What does the program cost partner CPS schools?
January 2018 will mark the start of the pilot Career Academy and thus there will be no fee associated with the program.

Still have questions? We are happy to schedule an over the phone or in-person meeting with you to answer any remaining questions. Please email thekirkwoodfoundation@gmail.com to schedule!

TKF Career Academy Q&A

THE KIRKWOOD FOUNDATION, a 501(c)(3) organization

Chicago, Illinois | (708) 365-9063 | thekirkwoodfoundation@gmail.com