Our FastForward Career Coaches come from all walks of life. Some were career switchers, who always had a passion for helping people but never found the right opportunity to do so. Others were lifelong educators bound to be leaders, mentors and coaches for their students and clients. Chad Younger, a FastForward Career Coach at Danville Community College, falls in the latter category.
“I worked in the public-school system teaching high school government, U.S. History and World History classes,” Younger said. “I wanted to do something different, but still in the educational field. I wanted to help students work towards educational and career goals.”
FastForward Career Coaches are positioned at every community college to help students enroll in the training that’s best for them and make sure students have what they need to pass their certification exams at the end of training.
“I try to drop by the classrooms to show my face and let the students know I’m available should they need resources with things to help them succeed in class,” Younger said, and for those students in Danville, the classes range from certified nursing assistant to CDL trucking to welding and CompTIA trainings.
Some students get enrolled in training, take a test and get a job – 1, 2, 3, piece of cake. But for other students, like those who’ve been incarcerated, the road to success isn’t so straight.
“For students who’ve been incarcerated, FastForward can give them a second chance, a second career,” Younger said. “We have an honest conversation with these students. Some may ask about healthcare – but we don’t want to lead them down the wrong path for them to be disappointed at the end because they’re not able to participate in the state boards.”
Younger helps connect previously incarcerated students with the right training programs and ultimately, with the right employers who will interview and hire on a case-by-case basis.
“One thing I’ve found is a great number of [previously incarcerated] CDL students who went into training, earned their CDL and found employment,” he said.
Helping students work through their situations and responsibilities is one of the biggest differences Younger experiences in higher education versus his time in the K-12 world.
“Younger students don’t have as many responsibilities or things on their plate as my students now have,” he said. “Our students may have children or are taking care of their parents. They may have health or financial issues. Time is of the essence for my students now.”
If time is of the essence for you, consider reaching out to your local FastForward Career Coach to see what path is right for you. Our coaches are only an email away.