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  • Travelers Program Aims to Give Underrepresented Students a Career Readiness EDGE

    May 04, 2016 | By NACE Staff

    Best Practices
    A group of young students benefitting from the Travelers EDGE Program.

    TAGS: career readiness

    Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals

    Since 2007, Travelers has helped underrepresented students advance from their middle school to high school curriculum, and then prepare for college and their professional careers after graduation.

    “Travelers EDGE® [Empowering Dreams for Graduation and Employment] addresses the critical work force need around diversity within our local communities, while building a strong pipeline of future leaders,” says Tara N. Spain, Travelers’ second vice president, community relations.

    Travelers EDGE is available in Hartford, Connecticut; St. Paul, Minnesota; and Baltimore, Maryland. Student participants receive support from Travelers and its network of partners that includes school districts, colleges and universities, and community-based organizations.

    “All the partners understand what students need to be successful,” Spain explains. “We connect all the pieces so that students have successful outcomes and partners achieve their objectives by participating.”

    The goals of Travelers EDGE are to:

    • Increase the number of underrepresented students attending college through strong middle school and high school curricula.
    • Help underrepresented students graduate from college through scholarship support and academic advising.
    • Build awareness of careers in insurance and financial services by providing a combination of professional development, internship, and mentorship opportunities.

    Travelers EDGE partners offer support in different ways. Inside the classroom, they support the curriculum and the teachers. For example, Travelers sends volunteers into classrooms to present or teach. Outside the classroom, the program provides field experiences, job shadowing, internships, mentoring, and projects.

    “We work with students to help them navigate the academic world and life beyond school,” Spain says. “For instance, our support offers technical skill development, such as computer coding, reading a spreadsheet, and general computer skills. We also help students develop their soft skills in areas such as interviewing and critical thinking.”

    Travelers conducts myriad measurements at all levels throughout the program to assess its effectiveness. It then makes adjustments based on this data to strengthen the outcomes of Travelers EDGE.

    In addition to making data-driven changes, Spain offers tips for running an effective program, including:

    • Being clear about your program’s objectives.
    • Seeking partners whose goals align with yours.
    • Having a framework about what each partner brings to the table. Indicate the resources and expertise each organization brings to the partnership, and what return each partner hopes to achieve.
    • Identifying clear activities that will lead your students to work force preparation inside and outside of the classroom. Be creative with opportunities such as job shadows and case competitions.

    Tara N. Spain will present “Addressing Work Force Readiness” at NACE16.