A lack of role models and knowledge on how to overcome barriers keeps too many Black youth from their dream careers, says the executive director of a Windsor organization that’s set out to change that.
“So we start from the roots,” said Oluwatosin Akinbinu, executive director of Black Kids in Action. “It’s not just about you knowing how to write your résumé.
“We actually take you from the foundation, so you’re building true, so you actually get your dream job.”
Black Kids in Action, dedicated and committed to enhancing the well-being of local Black youth through dance, drama and dialogue, held its second career initiative session Saturday for youth and young adults ages 15 to 30.
Participants were introduced to Black educators and industry experts who offered concrete information and valuable insights into the job market, how to build a résumé, ace an interview and obtain the right certification.
“We do see that there is a huge barrier between them getting into the employment, the workforce, the job that they really want,” Akinbinu said.
“They don’t have the means because they don’t understand how to get into them.”
Akinbinu said a lack of role models also hinders Black youth because they can’t see anyone who looks like them, doing what they dream of doing.
“They end up in places that they just have to be because they have to start being grownup, they have to start paying their bills,” she said.
“That’s not what we want. We want them to actually be able to achieve (their) dreams … and be fulfilled.”
Saturday’s session was the second of four planned annually for the next two years.
Akinbinu said her organization is applying for government funding and hopes to be able to expand its programming for six to 10 years.
And the big vision for the organization, which currently leases space at the Gino and Liz Marcus Community Complex, is to get enough funding to establish a free-standing centre.
“Our dream is to actually have an employment centre whereby they can come in, feel relaxed, interact with all the educators and career professionals, and be able to see them through,” Akinbinu said.
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Career initiative sessions are limited to 25 participants.
“We always limit it to 25 because we want to be able to speak to everybody, have interaction directly and be able to have time for each individual,” she said.
“We want to be able to reach out and actually make an impact, rather than just throwing out the words and that’s it.”
Visit bkia.ca for information on upcoming sessions and to register.
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