As we ring in the new year and reflect on all of the accomplishments of Literacy Services’ students, staff, and volunteers in 2019, we are more than happy to recognize our 5th Volunteer of the Month in our 55th year. Let’s celebrate Dave Georgenson as avolunteer leader essential in designing our Career Advisory Service.
Dave is a certified Executive Coach with a background in leadership development plus strategic and organizational planning at half a dozen organizations. Dave began tutoring in our Adult Secondary Education (ASE) program in 2017. At one of David Peters’ workshops he was intrigued by the mention of a career exploration activity. In Dave’s awareness of online tools and resources available to our student she noticed a gap in our services between program completion and post-secondary education and/or employment seeking. He envisioned ongoing one-on-one advisor sessions to complement the online resources. Dave brought these ideas to David Peters to begin a plan for career advisory. Peters stated, “Dave’s efforts have focused on identifying a need and leveraging his skills to meet it, to the point of creating something altogether new to accomplish it.”
The Career Advisory Service works to provide information, experiences, and advisory support to students enrolled in ASE academic programming to help them make informed, well-reasoned plans beyond completion of a GED or other academic goals at Literacy Services. Dave sees students at various stages in their development and arranges for them to meet a professional in their desired field to provide clarity on where they want to go. Dave explains the purpose of this exposure is to provide the student hands on experience so they can see, feel, touch and understand for themselves what working in that field will be like, guiding the student through this decision process.
Dave has observed the self-imposed limits and constraints many students often put on themselves. He tries to “help students understand their talents, develop vision and motivation, and remove those barriers.” Career advising is meant to be exploratory, helping students open doors and discover possibilities. He wants students to look at what they can do and not what they can’t do. When asked what makes a good advisor, Dave said, “somebody that listens at a deep level, accepts students where they are, and celebrates their natural strengths. Someone who has empathy, does not judge someone by their life story or choices and is willing to challenge student’s thinking, not judge, but challenge.” Dave has learned from every one of his students through their stories about the strength, motivation, and fortitude they possess while working through the life issues they face.
In Peters’ words, “Dave, as Literacy Services’ first career advisor, has been a tremendous partner in helping to shape the Career Advisory Service. As a result of Dave’s work, advisory support is available to assist students currently working on their academic goals in addition to those who have completed their academic program to successfully make the transition to post-secondary education and/or employment.” Career advising is essential in providing a continuum of services and helping students realize their individual goals. “The main objective is to help students uncover their abilities and strengths. To provide a path of motivation and resources that will help students clarify and identify what the next steps are. The program is designed to open possibilities”, said Dave.
If you are interested in learning more about becoming a volunteer career advisor, please contact Adult Secondary Education Program Director, David Peters at firstname.lastname@example.org or 414-344-5878.