The Future Readiness Lab is a pilot project designed to prepare students both for their post-secondary education and career choices, as well as for community engagement. To do so, it supports them in deep exploration of five questions.
- Who am I?
- Who do I want to become?
- How do I get there?
- How do I continue to learn?
- How do I give back to my community?
Part of the Future Readiness Institute, a major initiative of The Heinz Endowments and Penn State University, the Lab originally was conceived as a summer preparatory experience at Pittsburgh’s Energy Innovation Center. Amid COVID-19, it was redesigned and launched in October as a full-year virtual program.
The pilot is bringing together a small, diverse group of high school juniors from eight districts. Throughout the fall, students are working individually and in teams within their respective schools. In addition to creating actionable, post-secondary plans, all students will create professional portfolios, learn about building professional networks and participate in a variety of virtual activities designed for interacting with professionals and exploring careers.
By spring, the students will take on team projects aimed at solving a problem in their communities, while building the soft skills that employers seek and that are critical to success.