03: Many Paths to a Bright Future


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By Ed Gerety. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Patricia Turner, M.Ed., received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Master of Education degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration from The University of Vermont. With 30+ years of experience in education with students from grade 7 through university, she brings the perspective of a teacher, administrator, counselor, professor, and parent, and is in year 16 of serving as a GEAR UP outreach counselor in Vermont.

Today’s topic can be a tough one for parents! What do you do when your teen decides that college is not for them? Patricia shares her perspectives as an educator and how the future is still bright for a lot of teens who choose an alternative path. Don’t panic!

Key Takeaways

  • Help! My teen doesn’t want to go to college. What now?
  • There are many bright paths and options for our teens.
  • It’s very natural to frame our work with young people, and our children, based on our own experiences, but we need to break out of that mold.
  • It’s a good thing that students are excited about pursuing different avenues!
  • What is it like being a person who has lots of interests in life?
  • How can you help your child find their passions and their life calling?
  • You don’t just go through one or two careers in life. It really can be a diverse and interesting journey.
  • There are many avenues, like volunteer programs, internships, certificate programs, that teens can pursue. We are living in extraordinary times right now and there are a lot of options!
  • One of the best messages we can give our teens is that success has many different paths.
  • Challenge your teen to think about big world problems. What would they like to solve? What are they passionate about?
  • Reminder to parents: If your teen chooses not to go to college, it’s not a bad thing.
  • What happens when you have a teen who doesn’t care what they want to do? How can we reignite the spark within them?
  • A lot of great progress can be made with your teen just by asking questions, keeping quiet, and listening to them.
  • Here are some great ways you can help your teen become curious and support their passion/endeavor’s.


Connect with Patricia: Vsac.org


“The path is not always straight and that’s something I try to hold in my heart and have it inform my work with students everyday.”

“It’s really important to understand and help students and families recognize that there are many paths to fulfilling lives and fulfilling careers.”

“Help young people broaden their horizons through experience, to hopefully land on one or more things that help them find that thing that they love and drive them towards fulfilling that part of their lives.”

47 episodes