Frank Armijo on Actionable Ways to Encourage Youth to Pursue Higher Education

Frank Armijo on Actionable Ways to Encourage Youth to Pursue Higher Education

Frank Armijo

Over the years, there has been much discussion about the benefits of graduating from university. Of them, a few of the most cited are increased access to job opportunities, higher economic stability, and more pathways to career advancement.

Regardless of the many ways that a college education can open doors to a successful future, there are a variety of barriers that may discourage young people from pursuing. Students may lack a support system that makes college feel attainable, face financial obstacles, or even have trouble imagining a place for themselves in collegiate education.

Frank Armijo- a business development professional with experience leading diversity and inclusion initiatives- acknowledges that many leaders have been looking for ways to encourage youth to pursue higher education and strive to achieve their various educational goals. This has been further emphasized as the pandemic opened many of our eyes to the inequities that impact many of our young people’s access to education.

Frank and other thought leaders note that actionable methods for supporting the next generation’s educational pursuits are imperative to build a more equitable future. Here, Frank Armijo evaluates a few ways we can encourage our youth to pursue higher education.

Support Scholarship Funds and Achievement Programs

Young people who do not feel as though they are in the financial situation to pursue higher education are less likely to go to college. For this reason, Frank Armijo is a proponent of scholarship funds and achievement programs that encourage students to pursue their interests and continue with their education.

Frank Armijo is the co-founder of the Hispanic Academic Achievers Program, an organization created to help Hispanic students and their families strive for a better life through educational pursuits. The goals of the organization are vast, and the group has remained dedicated to motivating youth to reach academic excellence, educating students and their families on the inherent value of education, and helping them overcome existing educational barriers to attain academic success since its founding in 1991.

Frank’s experience with the Hispanic Academic Achievers Program and collaborations with organizations of similar scope has shown him that there are a wide variety of groups working towards the goal of supporting young people as they explore their options. Assisting such organizations through volunteering or donation are excellent steps towards mitigating financial or support obstacles that prevent students from seeing college as a viable option.

Explore Mentorship Opportunities  

Frank ArmijoFor many young people, it is important to see people who look like them or are from similar situations who have achieved success to imagine it for themselves. Mentorship is one of the most common ways that students are connected with older, established members of the workforce to assist with personal and professional development.

Mentors are powerful resources in part because they can help young people clarify and set goals that set them on the path towards their personal version of success. Some goals that students develop may be made easier through higher education, and many cite the goal setting process as crucial for maintaining motivation in educational settings.

Aside from the skills and clarity that mentors can impart on their mentees, mentorship also stands out as an excellent way to expand young people’s networks while opening their eyes to new opportunities. Through mentors, young people who are learning about the benefits of attending college can meet key individuals who can assist with their development goals.

Networks and expanding support systems are crucial because showing students that they are not alone as they tackle obstacles is key to encouraging their educational pursuits.

Empower Young People to Find What Drives Them

One cannot discount the importance of showing young people the endless possibilities out there for them that can be accessed through higher learning. The fact still remains that, to be successful, students will need to find what drives them to continue on their path regardless of obstacles.

Frank Armijo maintains that even students who seem unmotivated at a first glance have a host of interests and passions that can lead them to build fruitful careers and personal lives. Barriers to discovering the goals and the motives of young people are often perpetuated by a lack of understanding of these goals. Our jobs as adults in their lives is to help them realize what truly drives them to succeed.

By creating an environment that treasures open and honest discussions with young people, adults can collaborate to isolate goals and help them determine clear paths to reach them. Parents, teachers, and mentors need to show children that their thoughts and feelings regarding education and personal development are valuable.

Sticking to goals and achieving academic excellence is always easier when young people can put their efforts into context. If we want more students to pursue higher education and remain up to the challenge as they work towards their goals, we need to empower them to hold their reasons for continuing close. After all, there will come times where they face challenges without our help. How they stay motivated in these instances is a crucial factor of their personal development.

Don’t Wait to Start the Conversation!

Young people are incredibly astute. They know when their thoughts and feelings are not being heard and are often not blind to the fact that they may have less support in reaching certain goals than some of their peers.

One of the best ways to help encourage young people to pursue a college education- with this in mind- is to start a dialogue to figure out their aspirations and goals. A student that feels supported as they explore their options is much more likely to find a niche that they are passionate about and can form a fruitful career within.

If you have a child, student, or mentee that you would like to consider higher education, don’t wait to start the conversation!