What We Do
Our mission is to promote academic and professional success by introducing underprivileged high school youth to new careers; developing their capacity to excel in the career of their choice by facilitating professional skill acquisition, networking opportunities and internships; and incorporating career interest into the college counseling and application process.
We carry out our mission through three overarching goals:
Why We Do This Work:
Per a 2013 Pew Research Center study, 77% of adults from families in the top income quartile earned at least a bachelor’s degree by the time they turned 24, however, only 9% of all people from the lowest-income bracket did the same.
Expose and Connect Students to Successful Professionals:
• Professional Presentations: 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.
• Professional Field Trips: New Environments, New Perspectives
KOC students are given the opportunity to explore diverse workspaces and interact with a wide range of professionals outside of school. Through our professional field trips, students will have the opportunity to sharpen the communication and professional skills learned through K.O.C.. These trips bring our curriculum to life, helping students see the importance of developing professional competencies first hand.
• Internships: K.O.C. students are expected to secure internships in the professional areas they find most stimulating. K.O.C. staff facilitate this process by helping students develop the skills necessary to identify and secure internships and by connecting students to potential employers.
Develop Leaders: The KOC Ambassador Program
Students who continue with K.O.C. into their sophomore years become K.O.C. Ambassadors, a title that denotes a large increase in responsibility and opportunity. K.O.C. Ambassadors are professionals in progress!
K.O.C. Ambassadors will:
• Begin K.O.C. professional development coursework
• Mentor and lead incoming K.O.C. freshman
• Network with speakers and professionals
• Complete our Community Impact Project
• Accept an internship in a career field of interest
Support the College Admissions Process
• At K.O.C. we apply the same exposure mentality to the college counseling and application process. If our students aren’t aware of the myriad of outstanding vocational schools, universities and colleges available to them, how will they make the best choice for their future goals? In collaboration with existing high school college counseling programs, K.O.C. administrators work to show students the pros and cons of attending different types of universities, colleges or vocational schools.