Young woman smilingFor young adults, summer means you're one step closer to graduation and a future of endless possibilities. Use this time to explore your interests and help set your goals for the future. Already graduated? Congratulations! There's still plenty of time to figure out your professional goals.

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Many Paths to Work: Helping Young Adults Plan for the Future

Jun 24, 2021

Young woman smilingWith school officially over, many teens take advantage of the summer break to explore different opportunities to help them figure out what they want to do with their future. From camps and classes to part-time work, how you use your summer can set you up for success in the next school year and your long-term goals. Even if you've already graduated, summer is a great time to explore different professional opportunities that interest you.

Summer Camp and Classes

Many colleges now offer academic summer camp for high school students. Camps like these can reduce the academic achievement gap caused by what's known as summer slide or summer learning loss. Summer slide is when students return to the classroom after summer break and need a refresher on some of the topics they learned in the previous year. It happens to every student, but exposure to educational activities during their break can reduce the amount of time they need to relearn previous concepts.

From coding and robotics to cooking and dance, summer camps and classes are good places to discover new interests or dig deeper into a passion. Camps and summer classes can also expose you to careers you may not have thought about before.

Volunteering

Consider volunteering! Lending your summer to a cause or organization that is important to you is a great way to give back to the community while helping to kick off your career. Keeping a volunteer schedule is similar to keeping a work schedule but may allow for a little more flexibility than a schedule you would encounter in the workforce.

The skills you develop as a volunteer can frequently translate to marketable skills once you enter the workforce, especially the soft skills you develop from working in a team, with the public or with the community.

Volunteering can also turn into the perfect opportunity to network and connect with people who may work in a professional field you want to be in one day.  

Apprenticeships and Internships

If you know what you'd like to do after high school graduation, an apprenticeship or internship can help jumpstart your career. 

Short-term employment opportunities like these allow you to get hands-on experience in a field or position that interests you while you're still a student. Some internships or apprenticeships even pay an hourly or salary wage while you work, giving you a first look at what it will be like to be financially independent through employment. These opportunities can help you build a strong first resume once you've officially finished your education.

And, if you've done well and find that you've enjoyed your time at your internship or apprenticeship and want to continue in the field, some programs will invite you back for additional summers of training or offer a job contingent upon the completion of a certain level of education.

How can Ticket to Work help?

Social Security's Ticket to Work (Ticket) Program supports career development for people ages 18 through 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits (SSDI or SSI) and want to work. The Ticket Program is free and voluntary. It connects you with free employment services to help you decide if working is right for you, prepare for work, find a job or be successful while you are working.

The Ticket Program can connect you with service providers who offer a wide variety of employment services to people with disabilities in all stages of their employment journey, including preparing to enter the workforce for the first time.

Learn more

To learn more about the Ticket Program, visit choosework.ssa.gov or call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Ask a representative to send you a list of service providers or find providers on your own with the Ticket Program Find Help tool.

Learn more

To learn more about the Ticket Program, visit choosework.ssa.gov or call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Ask a representative to send you a list of service providers or find providers on your own with the Ticket Program Find Help tool.

Receive Ticket Program Texts

If you're interested in receiving text messages from the Ticket Program, please text TICKET to 474747. Standard messaging rates may apply. We'll send updates from our blog, identify steps on the path to employment and more. We hope you'll find this new way to stay in touch helpful. You can opt out at any time.

If you're interested in receiving text messages from the Ticket Program, please text TICKET to 474747. Standard messaging rates may apply. We'll send updates from our blog, identify steps on the path to employment and more. We hope you'll find this new way to stay in touch helpful. You can opt out at any time.

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  Opt in to receive information about the Ticket program via text. Text the word "TICKET" to 474747