Life is full of transitions. From the moment we arrive, to the moment we leave, our lives are nothing but learning and moving from one stage of life to the next. How quickly it all goes!
In September, R.O.C.K. Juneau’s continuing efforts to making 2018 A Year of Kindness for Kids, is looking at the amazing transition of leaving the structure and supports of high school, and what it really takes to launch into independent living. We’re also closing in on the last stretch of 2018, and wondering, “Will some other group in Juneau adopt 2019, as a Year of Kindness?” Will Kindness continue in Juneau?
Every young adult faces the move from (hopefully) twelve years of formal school learning to the many decisions that frame the ‘what’s next’ stage of life. Living independently means needing to know how to find employment, housing, cooking and cleaning for oneself, as well as managing finances, voting (we hope so), and living well with social connections and relationships. All of these many life areas are in the mix of decision making about whether or not to continue schooling, training for a career or moving right into working or traveling.
Whatever a young adults means and support systems may be, the transition often takes years to fully complete.
Juneau has several support services and organizations working to assist with the transition and skills needed to be successful as a young adult, and they exist to support older adults as well!
Tlingit and Haida offers an Employment Services Program, which provides career assessment testing, motivational training and job skills workshops. Also, Tlingit and Haida has a robust Job Placement Program encompassing educational, training and employment opportunities such as Work Experience and On-The-Job training.
Further, Tlingit and Haida offers computer classroom training and vocational classes at the Vocational Training & Resource Center (VTRC) with an open admission policy for individuals of any race, color or nationality.
In partnership with the State of Alaska, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), the Tribal Vocational Rehabilitation (TVR) department serves eligible applicants with disabilities to obtain and maintain employment.
The Southeast Regional Resource Center (SERRC) operates over 30 programs and services to support adult learners across a wide span of needs, from GED preparation and testing, job readiness and search assistance, to English as a Second Language classes and much more.
In addition to traditional university 2 and 4 year programs, the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS), School of Career Education recently held an open house in their facility downtown. An amazing array of construction technology courses are offered. There are diesel (both heavy machine and marine) classes, mine mechanic and welding classes through the power technology program. Through collaboration with the Juneau School District, Ce Ce Brenner, a Registered Nurse with the health sciences program at UAS, is offering a Certified Nurse Aid (CNA) online & in-person training course for current high school students. There are 5 students currently enrolled! They each will earn 9 college credits and 1.5 high school science credits upon completion, and be ready for employment here in Juneau or any other community.
The road to independent living is traveled by every adult, and thankfully, Juneau has a variety of supportive services and individuals. We all need guidance, mentors and opportunities to develop the skills and find our ‘place’ in the fabric of our community.
May we add an early shout-out to folks who feel that Kindness is needed, in all forms, shapes and sizes in Juneau: How can we continue a community Kindness effort in 2019? Is there a group interested in adopting the cause next year? Reach out, we’d love to share what we learned this year, and what we learned from Lieutenant Kris Sell’s, inaugural year of Kindness in 2017.