“Pathways To Professionalization” Program


Program Description: Pathways to Professionalization: Youth Education, Employability, and Empowerment is RISE’s newest initiative in partnership with the Bhutanese Community in Syracuse. Through a 3-step method of interactive workshops, 1-on-1 advisement, and education/employment development placement, the initiative seeks to provide refugees and immigrants -ages 14 to 25- the skills and confidence that they need to excel in school, the workplace, and in life.

The many obstacles currently faced by New American youth justifies the need for this program. Despite improved high school and college-level graduation rates, area New American youth struggle on the job market and are often relegated to occupations either outside of their fields or below their skill level. Socioeconomic hurdles are omnipresent. The pressure to forego educational opportunities to support one’s family, an absence of work and tutoring programs tailored to the needs and skillsets of refugee populations, and a lack of networking possibilities are real. Multilingual and desiring to remain in the region, potential leaders of an inclusive CNY instead become disillusioned.


Mission of The Program:
To provide vehicles for refugee and immigrant youth -ages 16 to 25- in order to become professional, self-sufficient, and true leaders of a multicultural Onondaga County. To achieve a better quality of life, the program emphasizes the 3 “E”s:

Education: Cultivating Knowledge, Creativity, and Critical Reasoning Skills to Enrich the Individual and the Community

Employability: Developing the Skills, Contacts, and Mindset to Innovate and to Collaborate

Empowerment: Emphasizing Accountability, Confidence, and Self-Respect to Develop Tomorrow’s Leaders in the Workplace and in the Community

The Initiative accomplishes these objectives through a three-step approach:

1) Weekly Training and Networking Workshops. Here RISE and BCS’s members and community partners lead interactive workshops that prepare participants for the challenges of today’s business and education environments. Perspective workshop topics include:

-Conflict Resolution

-Leadership and Teamwork Building

-Reading Comprehension

-Formal Writing

-Resume and Cover Letter Lessons


-Interview Skills

-Mock Interviews

-Professional and Job Etiquette

-College and Trade School Applications

-Internship and Volunteer Discovery

2) Personalized Advisement Services and 1-on-1 Coaching. Once again, RISE’s staff and community partners will offer individualized education and employment coaching that complements and expands upon the skills developed in group workshops. Services include:

-Career and Education Planning

-Consulting and Advisement

-Job and Education Search Assistance


-Skills and Education Assessment

-Professional Development

-Paperwork, FASFA, and College Application Aid


3) Educational and Employment Development. From workshops and appointments, RISE’s staff will identify additional needs for professional development and can help participants pursue:

-Volunteer and Internship Identification and Recommendation

-Education and Employment Referrals


-Shadowing and Mentorship

-Regents Review and College Writing