Young learners are posed with one of life’s biggest questions, either by themselves or by others: “What do you want to do when you grow up?”
Thinking that far into the future can be overwhelming, but it will be surprising to know that most children, depending on the environment they find themselves in, have funny expectations about who they want to be as a result of the few career options they have been exposed to.
Through ReadCamp, we have been able to expose many young people to several career paths they previously had no knowledge about and never knew existed. Through readings and discussions on career opportunities, most of them have aspired to have careers they initially thought were reserved for people from privileged homes or privileged communities. This alone wasn’t enough, but giving them a feel for these careers by bringing professionals from all walks of life to spend time reading and engaging with them to give them a deeper understanding of the life ahead of them. This gave birth to “Read with the Professionals.” This was introduced in 2021, and it is held during the last week of the ReadCamp project every year.
During this period, participants get the opportunity to read materials and interact with personnel from various professions that are of interest to them. The professionals get to read materials related to their professions with the participants and interact with them on issues relating to their professions. The purpose of this session is to instill confidence, hope, and a can-do spirit among these youngsters and make them believe they can aspire for and attain greater heights in the future, irrespective of their backgrounds. This was done in person and virtually for professionals who are miles away yet desired to spend time with the participants.
Professionals from different sectors of the work field, such as doctors, service personnel, lawyers, and chartered accountants, among many others, dedicated their time to engaging the children.