Striving to Thriving: Occupational identity formation among Black and Hispanic young people and young people from households with lower incomes

Striving to Thriving used a mixed method approach to explore young people’s experiences of education and work with a specific focus on learners of color. The 16-month research project aimed to develop an in-depth understanding of Black and Hispanic young people and their families, as well as white families experiencing low-income through deep listening sessions. 

One of the outcomes of the research was to understand the impact of young people’s own mindsets and how those mindsets built their occupational identity, work and life goals. Young people also shared insights on challenges and barriers they have confronted and how they continually refine their occupational identities. The research will equip key stakeholders in understanding the opportunities and interventions that can assist them in supporting young people to identify and reach their life goals. Additionally, this research will aid stakeholders in understanding what learners believe an equitable future looks like in their own words. 

Through this report, Career Technical Education (CTE) leaders will begin to understand the growth and development of learners’ occupational identities using learner voice. The report will also provide leaders with strategies to support and help develop identities throughout the stages of their learners’ young adult lives. 

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October 2020