Take Our Kids to Work Day

Taking up a timely topic, Richard V. Reeves of the Brookings Institute asks us to rethink the goals behind Take Your Kids to Work Day. What if it was renamed Take Our Kids to Work Day? On this day, professionals would take kids who are not regularly exposed to interesting and compelling careers into the office with them. Rather than focusing exclusively on our own children, Take Our Kids to Work Day would provide an opportunity to introduce kids to professions that would otherwise remain invisible to them, and therefore beyond their young ambitions.

The author identifies socioeconomic immobility as the grievous problem – for the nation, for communities, for schools, and for our kids – that it is, and notes how we might take small steps towards bridging the divides that pervade our nation and undercut its fundamental promise to provide opportunity for all.

We work every day to give our students the opportunities and skills they need to explore the new professions that will ignite their curiosity and passions, and are grateful that Mr. Reeves shares our enthusiasm for poking holes in the walls that separate society, keeping us from learning from one another.

Link to article: https://www.brookings.edu/opinions/theres-a-better-way-to-celebrate-take-your-kids-to-work-day-taking-someone-elses-kid-instead/?utm_campaign=Brookings%20Brief&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=51237898

We are very excited to introduce an ongoing series that will display the research of elite think tanks, social scientists, and journalists who are engaged in the same important work as KOC. We consider these researchers to be our partners. Their data gives us guidance, and our programs bring their data to life.

Miami Senior High School Year 1 Updates – March 2017

The past few weeks have been filled with some great presentations for our first freshman class at Miami Senior High School. Our students have been learning about law, education, digitl marketing, and even geology. As the weeks pass new topics and ideas are being introduced, and our students are learning more about new professional possibilities.


Our students started off with a presentation by lawyer Marissa Leichter. With a focus on family law and child protection, she discussed the law’s involvement with the foster care system and nonprofit systems that provide child care. Marissa also detailed the complex juvenile detention system. For her activity, the students developed their own ideas for nonprofit companies and drafted a mission statement.


Digital marketer Bryan Lozano visited our class to speak on the value of online marketing and social media management. As the digital marketer for a large, south Florida law firm, Bryan manages the online presence of the firm and maintains a positive corporate image. Bryan described to our class the importance of establishing a difference between the online persona of a company or corporation and one of a person. As such, as part of his activity, each of our students started their own blog which they have been updating regularly.


A week later we were visited by Kyle Mullan, teacher and dean at Cushman High School. Kyle recounted his storied path to teaching and showed our class the many steps it takes to reach a professional goal. As a dean and teacher, Kyle crosses the line between educator and administrator, and helped explain to our class the multifaceted ways he must face an issue. Additionally, we were treated to a detailed description of Kyle’s many travels and volunteer work, which prompted a concluding informal discussion about world travel, geopolitics, and the need for selflessness.
Lastly, geologist and professor Ta-Shana Taylor came to our class with a bucket of rocks! However we quickly learned that these were not just rocks, but also a mix of ancient fossils and minerals. Ta-Shana explained in-depth the inner workings of archaeology and the scientific fields, gradually revealing throughout the lecture signs and techniques to classify all of the samples she had brought with her. By telling us stories of her visits to the Museum of Natural History as a teenager, her dig sites in college, and her current work at UM, we seemed to learn more and more about classification and study as her timeline progressed. As we reached our current day in her story, we compared how we had sorted the samples to how the student did initially and saw firsthand how much we had learned in such a short period.

Booker T. Washington Year 1 Updates – March 2017

As the school continues our freshman class at Booker T. Washington High School continues to have engaging presentations from a variety of professionals. Our last series of presentations have covered disciplines from all walks of life, professions, and academics, and have given our students an experienced outlook into the working world.


We started off the month with aesthetician Elizabeth Canler who spoke on her training and experiences in the beauty industry. Elizabeth drew from both scientific and aesthetic viewpoints in her presentation, speaking on the methodology behind products and techniques used in the modern beauty and cosmetological industries. Elizabeth brought in a number of ingredients used in facial masks which can be found at home and had the students design and create their own masks.


Dr. Angie Laird is a professor and neuroscientist from Florida International University who discussed with our students the benefits and uses of MRI technology in the medical field and how she uses it to study brain function. Dr. Laird focuses on the differences between active and inactive regions in the brain, and discussed with our class the differences between the two and how she differentiates between them based on MRI feedback. For an activity she had our students perform various critical thinking problems and exercises to stimulate brain activity and explained how she would measure which portions of the brain was being activated based on the type of question.


Entrepreneur Tony Thomas was next to speak with the class. He discussed the benefits of branding, personal marketing, and wealth management, both personal and professional. Mr. Thomas has a number of companies and holdings including athletic training and management, and discussed strategy behind balancing budgets and efforts between them, while maintaining separate and effective brands. As class drew to a close Tony had the students create personal fictional brands for causes or issues important to them.


To round out the month we had Dr. John Davies come speak with our class. An experienced leader in the south Florida academic field, he has been Head of School for the local Miami Country Day School for nearly 20 years. Documenting his path towards education and administration, Dr. Davies discussed how high school-level academia has evolved over past decades, how teaching styles can be altered to best suit different students, and the many opportunities and career paths involved in following an education in teaching.

March 2017 Ambassador Updates

Over the past month our Ambassadors have had some of the most productive and educational weeks yet! Between large strides being made in their Community Impact Projects and developing their professional skills, they have been working tirelessly to improve themselves and the neighborhoods around them. Within the last month our Ambassadors presented their projects at our first annual Knowledge of Careers Pitch Presentation, where they were judged independently and the winner received seed funding for their project!


The Ambassador’s Community Impact Projects have been developing rapidly over the past few weeks. With each unique project taking realized form, our Ambassadors have been creating business models, competitor analyses, and financial projections, as well as ensuring their positive impact on the Overtown community and surrounding areas. Their work on their projects this semester culminated in our First Annual Knowledge of Careers Pitch Night, where the Ambassadors pitched their projects to an independent panel of judges: Melitsa Waage, Oro Padron, Hannah Anokye, Naureen Rizvi, and Sally Guzik. We’d like to extend a huge thank you to them for evaluating the programs and giving their feedback! At the end of the night our Ambassadors Donna and D’eria from their project Diamonds In The Rough edged out the other competitors; In Between, the program run by Kimneisha and Jonathan, and Beat The Odds, Chris and Marquise’s Community Impact Project.


Donna and D’eria won a well-deserved prize of an initial $250 funding towards their project, which will be implemented in May along with the other Ambassadors’ projects. The projects will be continued throughout the rest of the year, when they will undergo an unbiased, professional evaluation to see which projects have room for future growth and development. In the meantime the Ambassadors will continue the Knowledge of Careers curriculum into their Junior years, developing their programs further, and focusing on SAT and ACT preparation and internships.

The Impacts of Career-Technical Education on High School Labor Market Success

We are very excited to introduce the first post in an ongoing series that will display the research of elite think tanks, social scientists, and journalists who are engaged in the same important work as KOC. Come to this page to find groundbreaking studies on the causes underlying the opportunity gap, the effect of professional exposure on youth, the power of social-emotional learning, and other salient and yet unexplored topics in education reform.


We consider these researchers to be our partners. Their data gives us guidance, and our programs bring their data to life.


The article ‘The Impacts of Career-Technical Education on High School Labor Market Success,’ by J. Bishop and F. Mane assesses the effects of vocational education programs for upper-secondary school students on graduation rates and subsequent earnings. Career Technical Education (CTE) exposes students to career opportunities and gives them the technical and academic skills necessary for success in reliable and interesting future careers. Professionals in such careers are also likely to become lifelong learners. Analysis of 12 years of longitudinal data found that those who devoted about one-sixth of their time in high school to occupation-specific vocational courses earned at least 12% higher salaries one year after graduating and about 8% higher salaries seven years later. Knowledge of Careers (KOC) exposes and connects students to successful professionals through weekly presentations for KOC Year 1 Freshmen. Professionals from a wide range of careers develop and deliver engaging presentations that help students understand what they do, the path they took to get there, and the academic skills they regularly employ. KOC uses CTE strategies to prepare students for a wide range of high-wage, high-skill professional positions.


Link to Article: http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1036&context=cahrswp

February Ambassador Updates

It’s been an impressive month for our Ambassadors! The flagship class has been traveling around south Florida and have started to make names for themselves as young professionals. From attending the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards conference to tailoring their professional skills at home, they have presented themselves consistently as changemakers of the future both in our neighborhood and statewide.


We started the month with a new face; our Ambassador class has grown by one with the addition of sophomore student Donna Ayala. Donna is a bright student from Booker T. Washington who is driven towards success and giving back to her community. Donna was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania but moved to the Miami-Dade area when she was young, and has lived here ever since. Our new student has a passion for medicine and science, and plans to pursue a job in healthcare (preferably as a pediatrician!) after attending either Florida State University or Spelman College. Donna has been greatly involved in our program and is working on a Community Impact Project that focuses on supporting and improving the lives of women who have been victims of domestic abuse.


The Rotary Youth Leadership Awards conference is a meeting for young changemakers across the country to connect, learn professional skills, and discovery strategy towards becoming dynamic leaders in their community. Our first ever Ambassador class was sponsored by the Miami-Dade Rotary Club to attend this event, where they discussed their Community Impact Projects with other influential students and supervisors at the event. Between bouncing ideas and receiving guidance their projects evolved and grew into what they are pursuing today; impressive, well-constructed business plans that the Ambassadors will be presenting at the First Annual K.O.C. Pitch Competition in early March.
The focus has still been strong in the classroom as well. Professional skills are always on our curriculum, with the past month’s focus being on professional greetings and conflict resolution. Lessons and seminars on skills have taught our students how to properly greet a room, begin a presentation, shake hands with a new professional connection, and how to write introductions and conclusions in professional emails. Additionally, we covered respectful and effective workplace conflict resolution. A number of mock scenarios showed our students what foundations of conflict resolution to build agreements and compromises upon regardless of the situation, and how to build the rest of a resolution plan around the specifics of the scenario. Our students are quickly becoming impressive examples of young professionals and we are looking forward to seeing how they and their projects improve over the rest of the semester.

February Updates: Y1 at Booker T. Washington High School

The Knowledge Of Careers curriculum at Booker T. Washington high school continues to develop and evolve as time goes on, and the past month has been no exception. Our students have been taught the ins and outs of marketing and commercial growth, the challenges of working in education, the complexities of financial asset management, and more. As the weeks pass our students learn more and are getting closer to discovering their professional passions.


Jade Palomino started our month with a discussion on her role as a manager at Endeavor Miami, a corporation committed to improving local neighborhoods by enabling native entrepreneurs. Jade assists local new business owners and entrepreneurs develop their businesses models and employment methods so that the companies can grow to the size that allows them to contribute back to Miami. With backgrounds in business management, law, and music production, Jade has experiences across the board that make her an invaluable asset to our community. For one example, she directly helped grow Encompass Online Solutions grow from a $7M company in 2014 to an $11M company the next year. As part of her activity, Jade had our students run a mock Shark Tank, where they watched sample pitches form potential companies and decided what area to develop and how much money to put into their development.


Marketing expert Tony Dicks grabbed out students attention with his exciting presentation on his responsibilities as the CEO and Founder of Sales Funnel RX. With a focus on marketing and commercial growth, Tony’s company achieves solutions through market research, commercial strategies, and utilizing effective team members. Tony taught our class the basics of driving customers and traffic to a client’s base of operation, both through marketing and enriching value. At the end of the day Tony had our class build their very own “money machines”, individualized brands that the students created financials portfolios of and tailored for success.


Professor Patrick Dulcio came in for the next week, discussing with our class the importance of education and its impacts on your life outside of the classroom. A professor of finance, Patrick showed our class how the models he teaches in his classroom are used by financial professionals nationwide to ensure their clients have enough money. Patrick drew a line between “needs” and “wants” during his presentation, and showed the class how percentages of income should be distributed between the two to maintain a healthy financial status. Our class participated in an activity with Patrick where the students broke up into groups with one acting as a bank, and the rest as loan applicants. The students had to use the skills they learned during the lecture to apply for a financially-sound loan.


We next learned about how to employ personal wealth and investments from Asset Management Specialist Lia Yaffar-Pena. Lia has an extensive background in personal and corporate finance and explained how the same basic principles are consistent from paying monthly bills to large venture capital investments. Lia has studied that debt crisis of the 1980s extensively and used it as an example to our students and her clients to show the development of emerging Latin American markets and their impacts on the global market since. Lis now focuses on managing the sales and buying sides of Certificate of Deposits and other investments, making sure that the sales of mutually beneficial. For her activity, Lia had the students perform a mock investment scenario where the students attempted to maximize return on a $10,000 loan.

February Updates: Y1 at Miami Senior High

The semester got off to a fast start with our class at Miami Senior High. Many familiar faces, and some new ones too, joined our weekly sessions to learn about new career paths and opportunities. From elected officials to journalists, our semester has been intellectually diverse, and we’re looking forward to seeing what the rest of it has in store.


Morgana Nieves works in the department of corporate sponsorship at Nikalus’ Children’s Hospital. It is her responsibility to find big-name partners and sponsors for events the hospital organizes. She touched on the importance of professional decorum and negotiation when making deals, and explained how the work she does ultimately has a positive effect on the patients and their families. Whether it be blood drives, charity walks, or fancy hotel parties, you can be sure Morgana is involved in finding the best partners to help the patient. For her activity, Morgana had our students break into groups of twos, acting as hospital representative and corporate salesperson. In a negotiation exercise the two had to come to a mutually beneficial agreement for the corporation to provide a service to the hospital.


There are a few who have seen Miami change, and been committed to making it the good kind of change, as Councilman Scott Galvin. Whether as a middle school history teacher (the best many of us have had), a youth program manager, or a (literally) combustion busting elected official, Scott has made our city a better place.Scott’s tenure on the City Council is one of the longest the city of North Miami has ever seen, and as such, he has been instrumental in all the changes and improvements it has seen over the years. Scott encouraged a lively discussion among our classmates, explaining to them that we are in a political climate he has never seen before, and gave his predictions on how it will affect both our neighborhoods and our neighbors.


Our next presentation came from the young journalist Wilson Sayre. Reporting for WLRN, the national public radio branch in South Florida, Wilson investigates and reports on topics relevant to our city, state, and nation. Wilson explain to us the specifics of investigative journalism, sound editing, and news-writing. Relevant to our classroom, she showed us some of her pieces on school zone speed limits and issues in Miami Dade school lunches. At the end of the class, she had our students break into pairs of interviewer and interviewee, with the interviewers prompting their partners on issues they cared about, all while recording the conversation. Wilson took the tapes with her and will be editing them into a piece that she will send back to us.


To round out the month our students had the pleasure of talking with Marilyn Bonilla-Krantz, an alumni of Miami senior high school. Marilyn has had a storied career, from healthcare administration to becoming an attorney. Marilyn explained the legal system in great depth, covering civil courts all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States. She also discussed how the law is evolving, with new fields of law developing in robotics and cyber security, while educating the students on many organizations that defend the fair and free use of technology and information. Marilyn closed the month discussing the implications that may come with the hiring of a new Supreme Court Justice, and a short mock trial session.

Upcoming K.O.C. Winter Bazaar!

Knowledge Of Careers is excited to invite you to our first annual Winter Bazaar on February 4th! The event is being held in the Edgewater neighborhood, at 411 NE 21st Street in Miami from 12 PM – 6 PM. We have always prided ourselves on our strong relationships with local businesses, and have often found ourselves the recipients of their generosity. Given that, we relish the chance to give back to them! At the Knowledge Of Careers Winter Bazaar, you will be able to enjoy some of the tastiest food from local food trucks, discover new local artists, and converse with some of Miami’s most innovative local vendors who will be displaying their antiques, crafts, and more! We have always valued the power of bringing diverse parts of our communities together, and couldn’t be happier to be doing it again for this event.


Our event also will provide exclusive access to some very influential local organizations. One of these is the Wynwood Neighborhood Enhancement Team, or Wynwood NET. Wynwood NET is a program the City of Miami has started in order to assist businesses, citizens, and organizations like Knowledge Of Careers access government services to ensure their success and their benefit to the neighborhood around them. Acting as a liaison between us and our city government, Wynwood NET is instrumental in guaranteeing that all municipal services are completed quickly and effectively. We here at Knowledge Of Careers are extremely grateful for the work they’ve done in our community, and couldn’t be happier that they are attending our event!


We are proud to be hosting the Overtown Youth Center at the Winter Bazaar as well. Located less than a block away from our home base school, Booker T. Washington High School, the Overtown Youth Center is committed to inspiring and empowering youth and families of the Overtown neighborhood by fostering hope through enrichment services. Working from the cornerstones of Integrity and Respect, the Overtown Youth Center is an irreplaceable force in the neighborhood that motivates young Overtown residents towards higher education and gainful employment. The work they do is very close to our hearts and we can’t wait for you to find out more from them at our event!
So please come visit us on February 4th to support these organizations, local food trucks, artists, and vendors, as well as Knowledge Of Careers at our first annual Winter Bazaar! Click here to see our Facebook page for the event and show us that you’ll be coming, we’re excited to see you there! New vendors and businesses are signing up every day, so if you own a business or sell your own wares and would like to be included, please call us at 786.213.5949 or email [email protected]

New K.O.C. Partnerships

It’s a new year, and Knowledge Of Careers has hit the ground running over the past month. We have upcoming events and new developments in our Ambassador class, but as an organization we have built new partnerships with committed local institutions. These groups share the same goals of professional improvement in the upcoming generation, and we are happy to have them in the Knowledge Of Careers family.


One of the most exciting partnerships we’ve had to date was finalized near the end of 2016. It is with great joy that we announce that we are officially partnered with the Miami Dade Public School System. The Miami Dade Public School System is the largest in the southeastern United States, and the fourth largest in the nation. With over 400 schools and more than 370,000 students, the district serves as an irreplaceable and awe-inspiring force that educates and enriches the children of our neighborhood. We are humbled to be considered in the ranks with such a storied and beneficial organization, and are looking forward to the steps we can take together towards the uplifting of our student body.


Beyond the realm of high school, we have also recently partnered with organizations associated with higher education. Moving into the new year, Knowledge Of Careers is now collaborating with both the Education Effect at Florida International University and the Toppel Career Center at University of Miami. Together, the two create a clear path to success beginning in high school and ending in employment, and are happy to assist in the transition along the way. The Education Effect is a partnership between Florida International University, the Miami Dade Public School System, and the J.P. Morgan Chase Foundation, and is committed towards improving the quality of high school level education courses. With support from the Lennar Foundation, the Education Effect has recently moved into Booker T. Washington High School, where our Ambassadors are currently enrolled.


The Toppel Career Center at University of Miami has always had the goal of preparing students to make educated decisions as they move into long-term careers. Providing students with assistance and support throughout the process of application, negotiation, and acceptance, the Center has produced some of the finest young professionals to come out of the Miami Dade area. As our students move towards the realm of professionalism, the Center will be a foundation that will allow them to catapult toward success.


We are also excited to announce our involvement with the Miami chapter of Urban Promise, a nonprofit organization that is devoted to the academic achievement and spiritual growth of Miami Dade students and young adults. By creating an environment with positive role models and improvement programs, Urban Promise acts towards providing a relief from the stresses and dangers of low income neighborhoods, and invests in individuals who will work towards becoming passionate leaders in their own community. Our students will continue to draw insight from the leaders at Urban Promise, and will carry their values forward with them as they grow.
With the support of these organizations we feel as if we have started the year off on the right foot, and we are enthusiastic to see how our own group grows and develops as we work with them towards the professional and academic success of our students. Their impact will be felt now, and for years to come, as our Ambassadors grow into capable, intelligent trailblazers and entrepreneurs.