Planning for the Future Team Spotlight: Rachel Lloyd, Academic Instructor
Career mapping helps kids select a future career that is right for them and encourages children as young as 5th grade to stay in school and study hard to achieve their goals. Rachel Lloyd, Academic Instructor at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton Harbor, knows how important staying in school is for local kids. As a graduate of Benton Harbor High School, Rachel earned a full academic scholarship to the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, where she graduated with honors and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications.
Along with Technology Instructor Leah Miller, Rachel developed the Fettig Youth Campus curriculum for career mapping. Members developed weekly plans this summer, using life experiences to improve work skills and map a path to their individual career goals. The plan is built around incorporating a focus on values such as trust, integrity, honor, and respect.
The project started out with the goal of exposing younger members to the idea of college, but Rachel soon learned that their ambitions were already high. “The kids have really high hopes, and I want to help get them there,” she says. “There are a lot of Ivy League aspirations, and members are getting really excited about learning and growing.”
In partnership with Junior Achievement, Pearson Construction, and Lakeland Health, Rachel led a field trip for 12 – 14-year-olds to introduce members to job opportunities in the construction industry. Companies like Pearson Construction are making programs for young people with career aspirations a priority. This spring, Trace Volpe, Director of Business Development at Pearson Construction, served as lead mentor and facilitator for the ACE Mentor Program to encourage students to pursue careers in architecture, construction management, and engineering.
“I hope our members will be able to apply to the schools of their choice, whether in the state of Michigan or not. I want them to accomplish their goals,” says Rachel. The summer career mapping project will conclude with lessons in how to build a resume, identifying mentors, and conducting mock interviews with the support of Lakeland Health.
This month, Rachel celebrates one year with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton Harbor. After volunteering for the Clubs during her time working with Kohl’s, a community partner, Rachel knew the classroom was the place she was meant to be. “I want our members to see me as a stepping stone,” says Rachel. “The work we do every day is to make the kids better than they were the day before, and we do a great job of that as a team.”