You and your peers have unlimited potential to achieve all of your dreams. Take time to learn about yourself and what naturally excites you and what you excel in. When you find your strengths, discover what you love, and apply both of those, you become a more successful and fulfilled person. You are capable of great things, and we are here to help you discover what you need to make your dreams a reality.
Your teenage years are the time to explore what your calling is. Yet, it is common for teenagers to be unsure of what their future holds and what path of life they want to take. Don't get stressed out over not knowing yet, just know that it is a journey of self-exploration and we are here to support you.
Taking a strengths test or career identification can help you realize your strengths and what careers you naturally excel in. Be You!
- Visual Strengths Test
You can also create a vision for your life by exploring what your deepest desires are through these thought-provoking journal prompts.
Program Finder was designed to connect students in California K-12 Career Technical Education (CTE) Pathways to Community College Career Education Pathways
Stories about Successful People
Check out these inspiring tales about other young people who overcame barriers to success and improved their lives.
Damian Lillard tells his story about growing up in East Oakland, and the social supports and loyalty to family that formed his fierce determination and commitment to excellence that led him all the way to the NBA
Caheri Gutierrez, a young model from East Oakland, was shot in her face and nearly killed in a drive-by. With the help of caring adults and therapy, Caheri was able to make the journey from troubled youth to traumatized victim to community leader and is now inspiring young people in Oakland every day to make better choices.
Drugs can get you high, but they are also expensive, and you will always come down. Luckily, life is filled with natural highs that release feel-good chemicals- such as dopamine- just like drugs do!
Some examples of activities that make you high are: Playing and listening to music, writing, art, sports, cooking, running, standing up for what you believe in, helping others, and anything you love will get you into a flow state.
Natural highs can make life more fun, give you something to look forward to, and if you can make a career out of it, you won't ever come down :)
Rather than focusing on what holds us back, we can learn how to build the skills and strengths that will foster our success even in the face of stress and hardship. Here are the top skills you need to be successful in life.
Kobe Bryant had a purpose, he wanted to be the best basketball player that ever played. At 13 years old, he decided that anything else that was outside of that lane, he didn’t have time for. Everything he saw, whether it was books, TV Shows, or people he talked to. Everything was done to learn to become a better basketball player. Kobe’s story shows us the power of intention, goal setting, discipline. As he says, when you have that point of view, then the world becomes your library to help you become better at your craft.
Making Decisions about Drugs
There are many reasons for a teenager not to use drugs or alcohol. First, being high on marijuana or any other drug often interferes with normal life. It is difficult to retain information while being high, so using it, especially once a week (or more frequently) could affect your ability to learn and make life decisions (especially when super stressed). Moreover, high potency THC/drugs/alcohol in combination with mental health challenges could have catastrophic effects.
Second, adults with drug problems often started using at a very early age. Addictive behaviors are easily formed in the developing youth neurobiology.
Due to critical brain development that only occurs in the teenage years, using drugs could compromise your mental and physical health longterm. Instead, we encourage you to look before you leap, practice your own critical thinking and learn as much as you can from credible sources to decide whether using drugs will be something that empowers or disempowers you. We believe that you are an amazing and talented human being and that you can and will do great things. However, in life, it will be impossible to avoid people who use and/or who try to get you to use drugs. Some things to keep in mind:
If you are offered drugs, know what you are going to say and do. Some decisions in life you cannot turn the clock back on.
Know the signs of intoxication. Under no circumstances drive or get into a car with anyone else who has been using alcohol or other drugs. Make a deal with your caregiver that you can call them anytime to get picked up by them.
There are many drugs both illegal and legal. It is impossible to know what is contained in illegal drugs because they are not regulated. The majority of fatal overdoses occur because young people do not know the strength of the drugs they consume, or how they combine with other drugs.
If a person is intoxicated and has passed-out, they should lay on their side instead of on their back, because of the risk that they may choke on their own vomit and asphyxiate.
If a person is unconscious– call phone 911 immediately. Time is critical. The 911 operator will give you directions how to keep the person breathing and their heart beating. If you are worried about getting in trouble... consider two things- what if they don't survive? and the Good Samaritan Law protects you as you are doing your best to save their life.
Different drugs affect our brains and bodies differently. Because everybody is different, no two people will have the same reaction to the same drug. Click on the specific drug classes below to learn more.
Relationships with Adults
Building healthy and supportive relationships with adults in your life critical to your success. We know that's not always easy, so here are some resources to help!