NLU’s Ray Legler, Ph.D., is hoping to make these buildings–and the possibility of someday working in a stable career position in such a place–more real for urban youth.
Legler, assistant professor of psychology, recently led a group of students from Dunbar Vocational Career Academy High School to visit the downtown offices of Deloitte Consulting. The following week, he accompanied a student group from King College Prep High School on a visit to the offices of Archer Daniels Midland.The visits encompassed part of Legler’s Pathways to Success project, which is funded by a seed grant from National Louis University. He focuses on Chicago’s near-South side Bronzeville community, and collaborates with the Bronzeville Community Action Council. They aim to expose high school students, including those at King and Dunbar, to the world of college and rewarding, stable, well-paying careers. This includes helping the schools build relationships with local colleges, universities, and businesses.
The field trips to employers offer students the opportunity to learn about businesses they might not be aware of and the chance to think about their future careers. During the recent visits, the students had the chance to tour the facilities, learn about what the company does, and interact with company employees over pizza.
Students in the program learn about various careers, the education and skills required for these careers, and the range of salaries that they can expect to make in various occupations.One student from King High School commented, “I really enjoyed today’s presentation and tour. I feel like I can have a future in the careers that were mentioned, so this really brought light to my future because I’m very undecided and unsure about what I’d like to major in. So today was very helpful to me.”
A Dunbar student said, “I would love to come back. I had a great time. You really opened my eyes to many different things. Things that I really didn’t know anything about, and I would love to work here in the future because the salary you guys make is awesome!”