Be the Support Your Child Needs to Succeed!
If this is your first experience with us, thank you for giving us the opportunity to help you and your child navigate their path toward a career that makes them happy while offering financial security and long-term potential. As a parent, you know how hard it can be to steer your child in the right direction. Growing up in today’s world is more complicated than ever. Most students have financial needs and shortcomings when it comes to their education costs. It’s also common for students to need some extra help, and time, to figure out where they want to go in life. And that’s OK! The great thing about America is that we always have another chance to get our education and lift ourselves up on our feet. Follow our Road Map to Parent Success to help you help your child complete their education and training for a career they can build on.
What Is the Imagine America Foundation?
The Imagine America Foundation was founded on the idea that all students should have access to affordable, career-focused education. Part of our mission is helping parents understand the options their children have as they grow into adulthood, complete high school and start looking for job training. Over the years, thousands of students have benefited from our scholarship awards that help reduce the financial burden of their education and training programs. We also work with adult students and military veterans to make sure they're included in the picture, too. So if you're one of many adults considering a career change, or a military veteran who wants to develop additional skills, maybe we can help you as well!
Join your child on their journey toward job training ...
The stops on our Road Map to Parent Success are laid out in the sections below. We understand that as concerned parents who want to see your child succeed, you want and need helpful resources. Our Road Map to Parent Success includes important information that will educate you about the significance and advantages of career training education (CTE) in today’s workforce. And we will help you identify areas of opportunity that align with your child’s skills and interests. From there, you can absorb critical financial information that includes planning, scholarship opportunities and how to choose the right financial aid options that make sense for your child.
Now, let’s hit the road and visit the destinations that can help your child develop the professional skills and confidence that result in career success. Education and career training are the most surefire ways to ensure your child is ready for the 21st-century workforce.
Finding your destination is easy as long as you have a reliable GPS. Navigate with IAF across this interactive map with destinations featuring career, school and scholarship options for students.NAVIGATE NOW
Follow Our Road Map to Parent Success
Career Training Education, or CTE, can be described simply as: training that is career- focused, without all the extra elective type courses that 2-4 year programs may require. There is nothing wrong with getting a traditional education. But for many of today’s learners, it simply isn’t practical – or necessary, in order to get a solid career. While we have an ideal associated with a undergraduate and graduate level degree programs, they just aren’t the best path for some students. At least, not initially. CTE programs can give your son or daughter a chance to learn core career skills to qualify for entry-level positions in several thriving fields, including healthcare, business & the arts, mechanical programs, and information technology (IT). Once they are working in their first job, making a wage that can get them out on their own, then students can start planning for associate’s or bachelors level programs. For example, your child may pursue a medical assisting diploma or certificate program in order to qualify for their national certification. Once they pass their exam, they can apply for medical assistant careers that typically pay around $35,000 a year, on average. On top of that, the growth in this field is anticipated to be 23% through 2024. The national average is just 7%. So, if you would love to see you child in a secure career (what parent wouldn’t?), then you might want to urge them to consider this path. Of course, they should pursue a career that fits their interests and passions. But, we’ll get into that more when we arrive at the next stop on our Roadmap…
Where does my son/daughter fit?
Sometimes, students can be reluctant to enroll in school because they aren’t sure which direction to turn. It can be difficult, intimidating, and frustrating to make such an important decision about your future. We tend to think of our kids as adults because they can be so independent and strong-headed in many ways. It’s easy to take for granted that their minds are still forming, and so are their views of the world and themselves. Talk to them about their career options. And more than talk: listen. Hear what they have to say and think about ways you can help them accomplish their goal for a career.
Helping them choose a professional direction
We generally divide career and trade school programs into four categories when we talk to students:
- Information technology (IT)
- Business & arts
All of these fields offer opportunities at the entry-level that your son or daughter can aim for as soon as they complete their high school education (or equivalent). Healthcare is experiencing large growth, and so is IT. The mechanical field is wide open, with growing opportunities in renewable energy. And of course, business and the arts are always options for learners who are interested in those types of occupations.
Are they still undecided?
If your child isn’t sure which direction would best suit them, then recommend they take our career assessment test. It’s a really quick and simple set of four questions that can get the conversation going. From there, we can help you learn about programs in your area, And we can help you pursue the right mix of financial aid options, and share resources that ease the burden of financial planning.
How does my student get there?
For students who need to complete their high school education or choose a trade school or vocational program, we always direct them to our Student Roadmap to Success for guidance. This map lays out the simple steps they need to move forward. If your daughter or son hasn’t taken a look, share a link to our student section with them – and take a look for yourself, so you’re on the same page.
The Roadmap to Student Success includes the following stops:
- Career & trade school education info
- Information technology (IT)
- Figuring out where they fit
- How they get there (choosing a school)
- Financial planning
- Imagine America Scholarships
- Surviving in school
- Tips for career success
Want to know what career training and trade schools your child can choose from? Match with a School
Here are some of the top benefits of career training programs that attract students:
- Can sometimes be completed in 12-24 months
- Can be paid for with a variety of financial aid options
- Often include career advisors and internships to help transition from education to their next job
- Online and campus options are becoming more widely available
Plus, if your child decides to keep learning, many of these types of programs can lead into associates or preparation for a bachelor’s level education when they are ready. But in the meantime, taking an efficient path to developing professional skills can get them in the workforce more quickly.
How to Pay for School
We know this is probably everyone’s least favorite stop on the road to success. As much as we all would love to skip the whole paying for school part of the equation, it’s inevitable. That’s why we created a Financial Planning Made Simple (FPMS) tool for students and parents to use for creating a realistic budget for their time in school. We want parents to look at this tool, and the additional resources we provide students. That way, we’re all on the same page, and in the best position to help guide through this challenging step in the process.
- Financial Literacy- FPMS Video
- Additional resources for parents
- Links to other scholarships
Take a few minutes to look through these tools – and share them with your child, so they can understand their best options for paying for school.
Imagine America Scholarship Program
Over the past several years, Imagine America has awarded over (insert current number) of scholarships to high school students. These awards total $1,000, and go towards the tuition and fee expenses for their education or trade school program. By quickly reviewing the qualifications and application process, you can hold your child’s hand and help them through this critical step.
To qualify, high school students must:
- Demonstrate likely completion of postsecondary program
- High school grade point average of 2.5 or higher
- Prove financial need
- Demonstrate voluntary community service during senior year
If your son or daughter fits those criteria, then review the application process…
View your child’s application process
Click here to view all the steps in the application process they will have to take.
Are you with your child right now, or want to complete this for them? Click here to start their application process.
Want to learn more about our mission and career industry trends?
We are among the definitive voices in vocational and trade school education. Check out our quarterly magazine Career College Central, for get better informed about the steps your child is taking to a more secure future.
Helping your child stay on track once they achieve career success
It will feel like such a relief as a parent when your child is thriving in their career. All that hard work you did as their parent and primary mentor and role model will feel like it paid off. Before you know it, they will start talking about the promotion they’re aiming for, or the next level of education they want to obtain so they can get that promotion they want.
When students follow our Student Roadmap to Success, we include a final step that helps them understand how to stay on track when they finally obtain that job they’ve been working towards. We want you to be in the loop too, so you can be aware of their potential to keep moving forward. Of course, we aren’t urging you to be too pushy with your child. But why not use some of these pointers as conversation pieces with your child?
Let’s take a look at our 5 steps for career success – and how parents can talk to their kids about them…
1.) Network with other professionals. This includes joining relevant organizations and associations, participating in events, workshops and continuing education opportunities.
Parents: Ask your child if they made any friends or connections lately in their field? Ask if they have learned anything new, or connected with anyone at work on a personal level. You could also keep your eyes out for social activities or organizations that might field their interest, and pass along that information, without being pushy, of course.
2.) Listen to your peers as well as your superiors. Many times, the best ideas and inspirations don’t come from the people above you, they come from the people sitting next to you. Try to learn from everyone you can, no matter how good you are on the job.
Parents: When they are in school or starting out on the job, ask about their training: how’s it going? What are the challenges? How do they get help – what resources are available? Sometimes, students and new professionals are too shy or don’t want to look like they aren’t up to the job. But the truth is, most skilled professionals are typically more than happy to share their knowledge with newbies.
3.) Treat every job like it’s your passion. You might have higher goals. But the more you treat every opportunity with humility while building a healthy level of self-respect, the better off you will be. When you take every job seriously, you will naturally set yourself up for the next level.
Parents: Talk to your child about what kinds of goals they are setting, and what steps they will take to achieve them. Maybe this isn’t a conversation you push when they are just starting out and finding their footing. But once you sense their confidence growing, foster it by encouraging them to think about how they can get to the next level. With the right encouraging tone, you can be their biggest cheerleader.
4.) Consider yourself a lifelong learner. The great thing about the American education system is that you can always go back to school and continue learning. Even if you love your job, and never thought you would make it this far, don’t ever be afraid to set new goals.
Parents: This goes back to the previous example. We always want our children to do better than us, right? Encourage your child to keep learning and finding new ways to love what they do. This might mean a complete career change down the road. And that’s okay! Just like any roadmap in life, your professional journey should be a unique path that each individual plans for themselves.
5.) Look for ways to celebrate your success. It can be easy to get in the flow of a career and suddenly it feels routine. That’s why you need to always find ways to celebrate your ‘wins’ at work, and look for ways to lift up others as well. The more you contribute to a positive culture in the workplace, the happier you – and everyone you work with – will be.
Parents: Life can’t be all work and no play. Encourage your child to enjoy their time off, and look for extra outlets in which they can channel their interests. This might include continuing a hobby, coaching an extracurricular activity, etc. Our careers aren’t the only things that define us. Parents are in the perfect position to remind their children that life should be filled with hard work, and enjoyed.
Do they need to find a new job? Then check out our job board
Let’s say your child hasn’t arrived at this stop on the road. That’s okay. Sometimes it takes a little time to find your first job. That’s why we also include access to our job board for students to browse after they complete their training. They should also make regular appointments with their career counselors to make sure they stay on track, and have the best chances for landing a job after graduation. Browse our Job Board
Thank you for taking this journey on our Roadmap to Parent Success!
Do you still need more information about ways we can help your child complete the career training they need to start a career? Contact us today, so we can start mapping your child’s road to success!
And don’t forget to share the links to our student, counselors, and advisors sections to make sure you are on the same page with your child, and the people who are in their system of support.
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