MSJC Counselors selected for Indie Roadtrip Nation

The four women embark on the weeklong journey on July 30 with plans to find stories that will inspire students to follow their passions.
TeamEagleEyes.JPGFour Mt. San Jacinto College counselors will set out in July on a journey to discover how successful people found their careers. They plan to use what they learn so they can inspire students and connect them to careers in innovative, new ways.
The counselors, Jenn Burleson, Shartelle Fears, Kristen Ekman, and Heather Tibbetts, have been accepted into the nationally acclaimed Roadtrip Nation, an organization whose mission is to help individuals define their own roads in life. The team is sponsored by California Senate Bill 70 , Career Café’s “Connecting Students to Careers Initiative,” in conjunction with Roadtrip Nation
They plan to leave on July 30 for a week to interview successful professionals in major cities with eight different industries. The team, called Eagle Eyes, a play off of MSJC’s mascot, is considering San Diego, Riverside, Palm Springs, Anaheim, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Sacramento, and Napa.
“We want to explore career opportunities through the eyes of those who have followed their passions,” Fears, a counselor on the Menifee Valley Campus, said.  “Some of these professionals may have used non-traditional routes to find themselves. Others will have followed more traditional paths. We are looking for these stories to find inspiring ways to connect students to careers by developing a bridge that leads from education to meaningful employment.  We want to empower students to see the possibilities, to ‘dream big’.”
Roadtrip Nation is televised on PBS. According to its web site, it is a series “and grassroots movement that encourages young people to hit the road in search of interviews with leaders who have defined their own distinct routes through life. The search for eclectic individuals who have resisted pressures to conform and who have become successful by following their own paths is what drives Roadtrip Nation. This remarkable movement documents these journeys of self-discovery in a free-spirited, adventurous series that encourages people all across the globe to move outside their comfort zones and explore the world.”
“Roadtrip Nation’s modern-day approach to defining your road in life resonates with students,” Ekman said.  “Students need to have the freedom to explore before settling on a career direction. It usually takes some trial and error before finding something you are really passionate about. We expect this trip will bring a world of possibilities to students searching for the right path, and hopefully show them that there’s more than one way to achieve their goals.”
Burleson, who works on the San Jacinto Campus, said because MSJC is located in a high-unemployment region, she hopes to bring success stories from across the state that will motivate students.
“As career counselors, we want to bring hope, direction, and opportunity to our students,” she said.
Tibbetts is excited to develop a deeper understanding of the various career opportunities so that she and her colleagues are better prepared to help the students.
“We want to use this experience to develop leaders of the future, students who are ready to take on the global economy of the 21st century as vibrant participants in shaping the future of California.”  
“I hope people track our progress by following our tweets,” she said. “This is truly a unique opportunity and I think that even if you are not a student here, you can learn about others’ lives by sharing in our experience.”