Three Pillars

The Think Big program is focused on three pillars: Career Exploration, Mentorship and Job Readiness & Placement. Our goal is help students determine a career goal and support them along whatever career path they choose to take post high-school graduation, whether that be going directly to work, attending trade school, or pursuing a two or four year college program.

Career

exploration

Mentoring

program

Job Readiness

& placement

Pillar One

Career Exploration

We offer personalized career affinity assessments and educational planning beginning in middle school, at an age when dreams often give way to societal pressures. Our partner companies and volunteers deliver interactive monthly showcases at the Clubs designed to expose kids to a variety of professions, in addition to field trips and skill building workshops to focus on soft skills for workforce readiness. This pillar includes programming for the following areas:

  • Career Showcases
  • Skill-Building Workshops
  • Field Trips
  • Summer Programs

During Career Showcases, Partner Companies prepare sessions for kids, focusing on career options within their organizations that allow hands-on learning, discussions and experiences. This is the critical step in raising awareness and exposure to multiple industries and career paths, allowing kids to start opening up to the possibilities.

Both Career Showcases & Skill-Building Workshops are focused on middle school students in the 6th – 8th grades and take place at the Boys & Girls Clubs twice a month, one session for each program.

Students read about their personality types after a Skill Building Workshop on personality differences and teamwork.

High school students from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay participated in our “Production with a Purpose” summer camp for eight weeks. They learned about broadcasting, editing, camera skills, interviewing and more. Special thanks to our partners at WEDU!

Partner Companies volunteer to host students for Field Trips in their workplace allowing them to share their facilities, culture and types of jobs available at the company.  Field trips are one-day experiences that target our middle school and high school populations during school breaks like Spring or Summer break. They can last from 1 ½ hours to full-day experiences and range from 8 – 200 kids in attendance at a time, based on facilities and resources.

Summer Programs provide an opportunity for Think Big to have even greater blocks of time with the kids during summer break and allow us to expand their experiences for career exploration and learning.  We offer both middle and high school students various camps, career fairs, workshops and provide multi-day emersion in specific career fields.  The programs reach hundreds of kids to expose them to different career industries, build workforce readiness skills and prepare them for internships.

Pillar Two

Mentoring Program

  • Career Showcases
  • Skill-Building Workshops
  • Field Trips
  • Summer Programs

Our goal is to improve the path for students as they plan and transition from school to the workforce. Once teens reach high school, they are paired with a mentor to help them understand their options, select the right courses, stay on track and make an education and career plan for post-graduation. Upon finishing 8th grade, students are assigned a mentor for their high school years.

Think Big mentors are passionate about helping teens understand their career options and prepare effectively to pursue them.  They serve an important role to:

Learn more about our mentors and mentees through our featured spotlight stories here.

Be an adult the mentee can talk to and learn from

Listen to their mentee and give feedback and advice as they explore career path options

Help their mentee understand their career options

Help their students create a plan to achieve their goals

Give their mentee a point of accountability

Be a role model

What Does it Take to Become a Mentor?

First, it takes a passion for helping teens plan and manage their transition from school to a job or career.  The mentors become responsible for meeting with their student at least once per month, for 1 – 2 hours, on location at the Boys & Girls Club where the student is a member.  The commitment is working with the student for at least one full year, ideally all four years if possible.  Those interested in becoming a mentor should complete this brief survey to share some basic information.  Prospective mentors will then complete a detailed volunteer packet, including a background check administered by the Boys & Girls Clubs staff, and attend a mentor orientation before being assigned a mentee.

Learn more about our mentors and mentees through our featured spotlight stories here.

Pillar Three

Job Readiness & Placement

Our volunteers and partner companies help kids with job skills and training, as well as opportunities for internships and scholarships. We stay with the kids throughout the completion of on-the-job training, trade school, two-year or a four-year degree, and either hire or help them obtain jobs at the end of their educational journey. Programs included in our Job Readiness & Placement Pillar include:

  • High School Internships & Job Shadowing
  • Job Readiness Workshops
  • Scholarships
  • Job Placement Support

Our partner companies provide internships and job shadowing opportunities for students while they are still in high school.  This allows first-hand experiences for students to get a feel for a specific career field and the day-to-day responsibilities it requires. Many of these opportunities happen over summer break for extended learning.

Think Big provides Job Readiness Workshops to high-school students to ensure they are prepared for whatever path they choose post high-school graduation. Some of our workshop topics include:

  • Interviewing Best Practices and Mock Interviews: In-Person and Over-the-Phone
  • Professional Communication Skills: Emails, Following Up, Organization, How to Dress Appropriately
  • Resume Writing and Cover Letters
  • Social Media: Do’s and Don’ts
  • SAT / ACT Preparation
  • And more

Think Big provides scholarships through the generosity of our donors and partner companies for technical school, apprenticeships, certifications and college that range from $5,000-$25,000.  View our scholarship opportunities under the Event Recap section and apply online today.

Think Big helps students pursue their post-graduation pathway through both scholarships & assistance with job placement.  We support all career paths including:

  • Direct to work with on the job training
  • Certification in a technical trade
  • Pursuing a 2-year or 4-year college degree

Interested in volunteering for one of our pillars to help us support more kids? Please visit our volunteer page and submit your interest today. Thank you for your dedication to our mission!

Make A Donation

Help Support Our Mission

Please click on the Donate button here on our website to review the donation information and make your contribution today. Your generosity helps us achieve our mission and reach more kids! You are also welcome to text 435-06 to THINKBIG to donate now.

We also have corporate sponsorship opportunities and high-level donor programs to become a Strategic Partner of Think Big. Please email info@thinkbigforkids.org directly for more information. Thanks for your Support!