Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Eighth-graders Begin Counting Down to Their Futures

Thanks to the support of about 50 community volunteers and partners, nearly 2,200 SBISD eighth-graders received the Countdown to Your Future program this month. The program, which uses Junior Achievement’s “Your Career, Your Future” curriculum, places community volunteers in classrooms to motivate and inspire students to start thinking about their futures today.

Participating volunteers represented SBISD’s Partners in Education and Volunteer Advisory Boards, SBISD’s individual volunteer base, and corporate teams from partner organizations including Amec Foster Wheeler, CenterPoint Energy, Community Health Choice and Dow Chemical.

In a 45-minute presentation, students learned about the connections between one’s education, career choices, earnings and lifestyle. After sharing their own stories and career pathways, volunteers encouraged students to make informed choices in order to best position themselves for future successes. Presenters also showcased a range of career opportunities aligned with each of the high school graduation endorsements students will select and earn based on high school course selections.

“The program reminds students that the choices they will soon be faced with are exciting opportunities to start charting their future paths. The message ‘the more you learn, the more you earn’ is not just about the financial rewards of pursuing a higher education, but instead speaks to the wealth of opportunities that exist when you take the time to invest in yourself” said Abby Walker, who coordinates the program. The program strategically aligns with eighth-graders’ course and endorsement selections that occur in mid-January.*

A Junior Achievement developed board game accompanies the presentation, challenging students to make financial decisions for a month based on an assigned career and education profile. For many, playing the game helps connect the volunteer-delivered message and a real-world simulation proving that the choices you make have a significant impact on your day-to-day lifestyle and opportunities.

For more information about the Countdown to Your Future Program, or to inquire about providing higher education and career exposure opportunities to students, contact Abby Walker at 713.251.2289 or

*Spring Forest Middle School 8th graders will receive the presentation in May due to a previously arranged schedule with their corporate partner.


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