Opportunity NOW provides high school students career opportunities
All work is good work. You learn to work by working.
That is the belief of Opportunity NOW, a youth employment initiative launched by the Mayor’s office to create a more comprehensive out-of-school network to improve the overall climate for hiring young people in Nashville. The initiative links thousands of youth and young adults to paid job opportunities with the goal of embedding youth employment into the fabric of our community.
College and career readiness is one of our district’s top priorities. Ensuring our students are ready for success outside of our school buildings is a focus for all educators – and our community partners are invested in our students’ future successes, too. Opportunity NOW is a great example of a community partner that supports the district’s goals by giving students the opportunity to gains skills and experience that will prepare them for college, career and beyond.
“The youth are the future,” Isaiah Reed, a graduate of Cane Ridge High School who participated in the Opportunity NOW program last summer. “If you give them the opportunity, they will show you what they can do.”
Reed completed a clinical internship at Meharry Medical College where he was given the opportunity to observe clinical rotations, attend lectures and complete a medical research project. His favorite experience during the internship was the labor and delivery rotation.
“While shadowing in this department I was able to observe a Caesarian section,” said Reed. “Being able to witness life being brought into the world was an amazing opportunity.”
Reed added, “Being able to have these experiences have inspired me to pursue a career in medicine and possibility obstetrics/gynecology.”
This is just one example of the real-life connection students can experience through Opportunity NOW. We’ve all heard the phrase: ‘you can’t be what you can’t see,’ Opportunity NOW is working to bridge that gap by giving youth an opportunity for meaningful, paid working experiences.
How You Can Get Involved
More than 10,000 jobs are available for young Nashvillians through Opportunity NOW’s online job portal. The programs are broad enough to be responsive to a variety of ages and skill levels, creating pathways to both supported employment programs as well as the wide array of job opportunities available to young people in Nashville. The summer job portal is currently open for young people ages 14-24, and will close on Friday, March 16. Please share this opportunity with your students.