Founded in 1997, Career Exploration adapts the school-to-work model and takes a holistic approach to career preparation for court-involved youth. This model fills a gap in employment services for youth who often miss out on school-based employment programs because of disruptions in their education. Most job programs that do target court-involved youth are limited in scope, providing vocational training or placement in particular sectors such as the service industry. In contrast, the goal of Career Exploration is to excite young people about the idea of work and expand their perception of what careers are open to them.
In 2000, the Career Exploration Project won a prestigious National Juvenile Justice Award and, in 2003, received the National Youth Employment Coalition’s Promising and Effective Practices Network (PEPNet) Award for the second time.