Just before the Thanksgiving break, high school students across the Keller district took time to look at the road ahead en route to the future, thanks to Roadtrip Nation.
“Roadtrip Nation” is both a movement and a program on public television that helps teens and young adults use their interests to map out possible careers. A group of “Roadies” brought their trademark “Big Green RV” to Keller, Central and Timber Creek high schools Nov. 20. Fossil Ridge High School has used the program in the past and plans to have the group visit in the spring.
Four Roadies talked to students about how they made vocational decisions based on their interests, obstacles they overcame and advice to teens on how they could succeed. They also showed videos of successful people who have built careers around activities and subjects they enjoy. One of the overarching themes is the importance of hard work.
Roadie Jenny Pham told students they should try new things and expand their horizons.
“A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there,” Pham said.
Students at Keller High gave the Roadtrip positive reviews.
“I think it’s a really good program that kids will go for,” said sophomore Kendall Garza. “So many kids don’t know what they want to do.”
Freshman Cole Rowlett agreed. “It gives us ideas about what we want to do,” he said.
Speakers encouraged students to pick two interests and try to combine those into a possible vocation. For instance, one girl said she was interested in music and travel and could be a music talent scout.
Roadies also interviewed Lisa Simmons, Keller High assistant principal, who went back to school while in her mid 30s to become an educator after working as an accountant. She encouraged students to explore their interests.
“Listen to your heart and what you want to do. Take your CTE courses to see what you might want to do. Now is the time to experiment,” Simmons said.
Jason Manion, event architect for Roadtrip Nation, said the group visits about 80 high schools and colleges during the academic year and spends summers filming interviews with leaders for the PBS series. The RV is a symbol of the road trip mentality, about getting out of your comfort zone, Manion said.
Tony Clark, who teaches AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) at Keller High, said AVID teachers across the district wanted their students to experience Roadtrip Nation.
“We want students to see how they can turn what they love into something they can do for a career.”
For more information on Roadtrip Nation, go to roadtripnation.com.