Tell Your Story: Generation Do-It-Yourself Pathways for School & Career

Despite the constraints our generation has imposed, we're seeing young people taking control and charting a course to careers they love. Powered by digital learning, Generation Do-It-Yourself ("GenDIY") is combating unemployment and the rising costs of education by paving personal pathways through K-12 and postsecondary to find and create jobs.
In partnership with The
, the #GenDIY blog series on
is cataloging their stories and generating a field guide for the new learning landscape.
Were you labeled "nontraditional" or "alternative"? Do you, at some point, have tell the people in your life that you had to do things your own way? Did you stumble upon a shortcut to a cool job? If so, we'd like to share your story.
Are you a guide, teacher, administrator, policymaker, business leader, or parent helping Millennials chart their own course? Are you building tools, starting schools, or creating incentive pools to boost youth employability? If so, we'd like to share your story.
We'd love to include a contribution from you and a GenDIY learner you know! Specifically, we'd like a short blog 400-800 words. We're looking for contribution in five broad categories.
Charting & Beginning Your Own Course
At some point you decide it's up to you, but how do you decide what to do? You have to take control because it's up to you.
  • Mindset Student Stories: Grit, Perseverance,
  • Learn and serve: gap-year travel, AmeriCorps, TFA, Peace Corps
  • Broadening your base: how to scan careers options fast
  • What to do? Matching will & skill, mission & task, connecting passions with pathways
Rethinking High School & College
Because it's not "one-size-fits-all-at-18, two or four years then you're done" anymore. (introduce viable, alternative pathways)
  • Getting through high school: flex, GED, online, home, alternative, independent study
  • College in high school: early college, dual enrollment
  • Cheap credits: community college, CfA, WGU, StraighterLine, Propero
  • Career and technical education pathways
  • Colleges serving low-income, 1st gen college students
  • College now and later: online options
  • Code school: a fast path to a great job
Learning on the Job
That thing about having seven careers in a lifetime? Here's how GenDIYers thrive on it. Work experience is as important as formal education.
  • Figure out what you need to know and be able to do
  • Finding or creating an internship
  • Learn for free: MOOC, OER, TED, apps & tools
  • Show what you know: sending signaling
GenDIY Tools
Tools, skills, and advice for (and from) GenDIY.
  • Personal management: manage your time
  • Personalized Learning Plans
  • Build Your Brand: positive social media presence, portfolio
  • Build A Network: mentors, contacts, references
  • Go Together: getting the help you deserve
The drivers that are empowering opportunities and options.
  • School choice
  • Course choice
  • Personalized Learning Plans
  • Data
  • Advanced Digital Tools
  • Coaching models
  • Blurring of Boundaries
Each section will include stories by and about young adults charting their own course: internships that lead to great jobs; artists and online students; code school success stories; "dropouts" who turn to alternative education, and alt ed celebs.
See a topic you are an expert or have experience in? We're making the case and making known the realities of students who are pursuing careers through alternative pathways. If your contribution is selected, we'll post an edited version on Getting Smart, submit it to The Huffington Post, and incorporate it into an interactive eBook in the form of a quote, feature, or video.
Additional details:
  • Email with your contribution and questions.
  • Timeline: we would appreciate receiving your blog by February 16.
  • Images/video: if there is an image or video, or two, that you'd like to include in your blog, please send them along.
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