Developing Employment Empowerment from Secondary School and Beyond with Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight
November 15, 2022
Developing Employment Empowerment from Secondary School and Beyond with Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight

Our youth are amazing people, who are learning and growing every day. Part of that learning includes figuring out what they enjoy doing and what they’re good at. As educators, we get to help them see how their skills and interests can potentially turn into a career.

But not enough of us are doing that, and it can be challenging to find a connection when teenagers and young adults adopt new interests and skills regularly.

This week on the podcast, I’m talking with Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight, executive director and chief operating officer of the DeBruce Foundation. Among other things, the foundation is committed to helping individuals unlock their potential and find career pathways.

The DeBruce Foundation has a free tool that can help individuals of any age identify their abilities and interests and match them with a set of agilities that will allow them to explore careers, identify what education is needed, and so much more.

On this episode, we talk about the foundation’s recent research, why employment empowerment needs to be on every educator’s radar, and why this is the missing piece in career development and growth.

About Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight:

Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight is a resourceful, innovative leader who currently serves The DeBruce Foundation in Kansas City as Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer. The Foundation’s mission is to expand pathways to economic growth and opportunity. It seeks to help people discover what they want to do, and what they’re good at doing, to open more career possibilities.

Having served as a K-12 educator, Leigh Anne established a career dedicated to improving how individuals understand themselves and view opportunities to advance in the world of work. She is driven to lead the leveraging of resources across sectors for innovative learning, rigorous research, and community collaboration in order to improve economic development and the quality of life. A teacher at heart, Leigh Anne has also served as a K-12 assistant superintendent, advised learning institutions across the nation, and led a bi-state consortium providing powerful tools for data-driven educational research to inform practice and policy.

After graduating from University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Design and Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Secondary Education, Leigh Anne earned her Education Specialist’s degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and her doctorate from the University of Kansas in Education Policy and Leadership. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Jump in the Conversation:

[2:20] – There’s a disconnect between graduating from high school and then starting careers
[2:49] – How to find a career pathway
[5:46] – The missing piece in career development and growth
[6:45] – Learning about talking about experience that starts with a club
[9:17] – Research that supports the theory of change
[10:07] – What is employment empowerment
[12:40] – Individuals with employment empowerment are higher on some career literacy measures
[14:30] – There’s strength in your network network strength
[15:05] – Career literacy and network strength helps to accelerate employment empowerment
[16:20] – There are systemic issues that caused people to have barriers in accelerating their employment empowerment and working on them is a long game
[17:23] – Our schools could get really dialed in about what alumni, parents, and the business community could provide
[20:53] – 4 of 10 people rate themselves low in both career literacy and network strength
[21:49] – Career literacy isn’t the only thing that we should be working on
[22:20] – Rethink some of the structures you have in your organization
[24:58] – Where to get started: Your three bold steps
[28:35] – Turbo Time
[30:33] – Improving the quality of life for others
[31:37] – Leigh Anne’s Magic Wand
[33:19] – Maureen’s Takeaways

Links & Resources



Maureen O’Shaughnessy 0:03
Hello fellow parents and educators. Thank you for joining me at education evolution, where we are disrupting the status quo in today’s learning models. We talk about present day education, what’s broken, who’s fixing it, and how. I’m Dr. Maureen O’Shaughnessy, your host and founder of education evolution, micro school coalition, and co founder of active, I consult and train with schools and leaders who are fiercely committed to changing the narrative, reimagining the education landscape, and creating learning that serves all children and prepares them to thrive. If you are new, welcome to the podcast. Please subscribe on our website to get it delivered to your inbox weekly. If you’ve been around a while, have you left a review?

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 1:00
Leigh Anne it is so good to have you back on education evolution.

Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight 1:12
It’s wonderful to be here today. Thank you, Maureen.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 1:16
And listeners.

Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight 1:16
Well, it is just a pleasure to be sitting here in Kansas City as we actually do this podcast with you where we’re located, where the debris is Foundation. And we’re a national foundation, again, located in Kansas City, but dedicated to expanding pathways to economic growth and opportunity. So what is some people buy? Like, well, what what does that mean? And what that means is that we really care about helping people expand their career pathways, and be on able to pursue the careers that they want now and into the future, Maureen,

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 2:16
you know, and that was so powerful when I first met you. And it still is because there’s often such a disconnect. And we help kids learn how to do high school well how to get their credits, and then they graduate and they’re like, now what? And we’re missing the whole connection with how do I make a living? What do I want to do? How do I get some real world experience, and your approach or foundations approaches is unique? How are some ways that you help people find these career pathways?

Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight 2:49
Well, we believe that it’s important for people to understand what they like to do and what they do well. And we recognize that there are lots of career surveys and assessments that are out there for individuals to use, and many of them we’ve been using for decades. And we would say continue to use those, those are great. What we’re attempting to do. And our approach is actually to expand the opportunities that young people will be able to look at like across different sectors and across different jobs. And so in a very short 10 minute, 15 minute assessment called the agile work profiler, students get to report what they like to do and what they do well. And then at the end, they get what we call their ranked list of agilities today, and those agilities are work activities that occur in every single job in the economy Marine, just in differing amounts. And so it opens up that confidence and builds confidence in students because they say, Oh, I’m really good at things that are used in different jobs in the economy. And now I know what my today ranked list of that is. And we know that students grow and develop across their experiences in jobs and in school and in volunteer roles. And so they can take the agile work profiler again, you know, after they’ve done one of those experiences, and see what else they’ve learned about themselves, do they now know that they like to do something better than they did before? Or do they do it better than they did it before? And so it’s really a tool that we would call a life cycle tool to be able to set

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 4:35
you know, I so agree, because I have my students use the tool in high school and beyond. So my 11th and 12th graders, I use it with my young adult daughters with my teachers, and then with my teachers, I’ve taken it and I like that it’s like yeah, I am you know, it’s like, I never really thought of phrasing it. But yeah, I am a connector. I have all these I’m an idea person. It’s an affirmation. It also helps us To clarify, at every stage of our career, so I really appreciate that you have this tool, and then that there’s more on the site so that we can unpack it further. And no gimmicks, no Oh, now that you’ve done this paid 999, or something, you know that it’s really a free resource for everybody.

Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight 5:17
It is we’re blessed to have it be a part of our charitable mission. And as you said, at the at the site, where you can access the agile work profiler, teachers and coaches and navigators and parents and students themselves can actually also look at our career explore tools that allow you to explore them, well, what are the agilities that are used in this particular job, and what’s about the average income of that particular job? And oh, if I’m thinking I want to be a teacher, then I can see where my ranked agilities are today and see that Ooh, developing others is an agility that teachers use a lot. Developing others is maybe five or six for me today, what are some experiences that I can do so that I can get better at developing others and be on that career trajectory to help me be best prepared to do some of those careers that I’m considering pursuing? And that to me,

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 6:17
that’s the missing piece? In both secondary and post secondary education? We tell kids take these classes, but they don’t get a sense of what it might Yeah, okay, then I can be a teacher, but it’s like, but what skills do I need? Not just what classes do I need to take? And when I see those list of skills that I can think about, how might I develop those, and oftentimes, it’s not going to be in another course. You know, so

Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight 6:43
have you also, I don’t know, if you’ve experienced this? Have you also had students do some type of a club or an activity Marine, and then at the end, not know how to talk about that, you know, for in interviews or in scholarships, or, you know, in any kind of application that they’re doing to college? Have you ever seen that happen with your stub

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 7:09
salutely. And we are a strength based microscope works. And oh, my gosh, that Eagle Scout work, you are networking in the community you are taking on leadership? We’re mirroring back to them. What crazy cool skills and attributes they’re demonstrating, because they’re like, Yeah, I did 30 hours and did this. And I trained all these little kids. It’s like, hello, it’s more than a checklist. These are skills. These are tools. These are part of you.

Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight 7:36
Yes. And that’s what we’ve found. We’ve been working with Project Lead the Way students first robotics students, I mean, you need the club, you named the activity, four h FFA. All of those are wonderful experiences that students have. I mean, they volunteer at, you know, harvesters, food zone, they do all of these things. But at the end, it’s so much more valuable. If they know, oh, what I was doing is I was learning how to organize. And with these organizing skills, I know now that I can apply this, this is how I applied it when I volunteered at harvesters or this is what you know, I was I was in charge of all of the communications of our first robotics team. So I developed my selling and communicating skills, I now can more persuasively write and tell stories about the work that we are doing on our first robotics team. So they can they can, you know, actually develop that ability to speak to those work activities that people will eventually pay them to do.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 8:40
Exactly. I don’t even think they understand the concept of transferable skills. But once they can get clear on Oh, I use this, then oh, it your business. I could use it this way they can help connect dots. So it’s so much more than a simple inventory and a bunch of labels. It’s really transformative for our youth and for the people that have taking taking the agilities

Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight 9:04
agilities. Profile. Agile work profiler. Thank you.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 9:08
Are you go? Yes, yeah.

Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight 9:10
Well, no, you’re agilities. Thank you, Maureen. Yes.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 9:13
So the DeBruce Foundation, you’ve recently conducted and released research findings that support your theory of change. I’m really curious, what did you study? And what did you learn?

Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight 9:28
Yes, well, we decided to study what we care about in terms of employment empowerment. And we wanted to say, to see and understand better, what are the factors that actually are influential in a person being employment empowered? So the first thing you might ask is like, well, what does employment empowerment mean? Right. And so it might be helpful to for the audience. I’m literally going to read this list and you know, we’ll get Our access this, this report will be at our, at our and But employment empowerment involves one person’s ability to one influence their working conditions such as their schedule, their income opportunities, for learning and for growth, to to reduce the risk of unemployment vulnerability, and to enhance one’s appeal in the broader labor market. Three, to gain and maintain access to high quality benefits, including health care coverage and paid time off. And for their ability to build wealth through savings and retirement investments. Right? Wouldn’t the world be a better place if more people felt employment empowered?

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 10:52
Oh, my I’m the mom and me is like, yes, I want this for my 20 Somethings and for all other 20 Somethings plus, ah,

Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight 11:01
yeah. Right. Well, and so we are our study is a national study, and we surveyed individuals between the ages of 18 and 65. So working age adults to see so who are the individuals who are most employment empowered? And maybe what are some of the ingredients that have gone into them being employment empowered, that we might be able to actually teach and develop in up nice, and that’s what we really wanted to do. So and we did learn that individuals who are employment empowered, they are 55, they make 55% more in their annual income than those who are not. There 26 26% More of them are currently employed. And they also, they consider 17% More jobs outside of their current career path. And we might wonder, well, like, why is that important for them to be considering jobs outside of their current career path? Well, when we think about so many jobs that will come onto the job market into the future, and even jobs that went away during COVID, that will never return. It’s important. Again, going back to, we’re trying to expand the career pathways expand the opportunities at which people will look. So it’s like, if employment empowered individuals are more likely to look at jobs and consider jobs outside of what they’re currently doing. Hmm, I need to think about how we can build some more of that for other individuals. Right? Hmm. So what we found is individuals who have this employment empowerment, they also tend to be higher on a couple of indicators that we measured. One of those indicators is what we’re calling career literacy. And career literacy is what helps individuals navigate these dynamic career pathways. It includes things like having a vision for one’s career, having a self awareness of one’s skills and interest, having the capacity to communicate your professional value in terms of a career and a job, having robust job search skills, and also the capability to explore multiple career pathways. So that’s why we’re labeling that career literacy. Now, as an educator, does that make sense to label the bundle of things as career literacy and something that we can grow and develop in students to you, Maureen,

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 13:39
I love that because it’s about self awareness and taking time to reflect and know yourself. It’s also about having tools to look for different jobs and to be able to communicate your values. So to me, that’s literacy that we educators can support people with.

Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight 13:55
Yeah. And and that’s what we see kind of out there in the economy is like, okay, different organizations are kind of working to build those career literacy skills of individuals. And that is very important. And that’s actually that’s why we built some of the tools that we have built right is to increase your awareness around this help you develop this vision, have that confidence in that hope that like you two, you can achieve this. The second indicator over which we can individuals can have control and we can help individuals develop is what we’re calling network strength. And so network strength actually involves an individual, what I call going deep and going wide, and so it is important for the individual to have a strong network with multiple connections that spanned a diversity of industries, education levels, and social backgrounds. So your network strength is a function of the diversity and the supportive Notice of an individual’s professional and personal networks. And we’ve found that it’s in combination, career literacy. And network stirring is actually how an individual can accelerate their pathway to employment empowerment. And I just have to ask you, like, as you think about examples across your life Marine, maybe that just kind of makes sense. It sounds kind of, you know, fundamental. And it sounds kind of common sense. Like, if you’ve had some of these experiences with network strength, empowering, or accelerating your own employment opportunities.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 15:37
I love that that is so true. There’s that saying, it doesn’t matter what you know, it’s who you know, and I disagree. But who, you know, way back when I was a 21 year old, my professor at the university that I want you to talk to this personnel director, she and I went to college together. So his network from a generation before impacted my network and got me an interview. So I think that that networking opens up a lot of doors, and then we have to use our career literacy to sell, you know, hey, are my strengths here? What am I about, and whatnot. So I think that combination, makes perfect sense.

Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight 15:37
And when we think about everything else that is happening in the world, I mean, there are a lot of systemic issues that cause individuals to have barriers in accelerating their employment empowerment. And there’s a long game for working on those and I so appreciate the DEI efforts that are happening with that. And those are so important and critical in helping individuals be able to cross those barriers, you know, knock those down, we also need to have some things that we can work on immediately with everyone. And, and in particular, even with certain populations, being able to double down on increasing their career literacy, and increasing their network strength. Those are things that we can grow and develop. And there are there can be systems and structures in place. You may even be thinking about certain things that you’ve experienced in schools that you’re like, I think these are some of the things that knock down some of those barriers or help develop network strength for students who we have.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 17:23
Absolutely, I think that schools would love to be able to say, hey, who in our community has this background and might be able to mentor a student or provide an informational interview? I think that if our schools could get really dialed in on what can our alumni, what can our parent community, what can our business community provide, we could be helping to prepare our youth and give them this practice. And at the same time, it would educate our community and those out in the workforce workplace because it’s a both and we need literate employers saying, hey, what might be some other strengths? Or how could you explain that coaching and meeting our youth where they are? So it’s not an either or?

Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight 18:08
Correct? What 100%. And that’s where the foundation, our our goal is, even with the release of this report, we really want to invite entities who are working on building that network strength with individuals, inside of their organizations and beyond, to feel like, in addition to working on those network strengths, that work that we’re doing, we can actually access some really good career literacy tools. And so we want to, you know, we look at this, like, none of us are going to do this on our own. This is something we’re all in this together. We admire Maureen so much. The organizations and the entities who are committing their time, their talent, their treasure, to expand and career pathways and expanding employment opportunities to individuals across all ages, right? Yes. And so we’re just like, we’re a small piece of this puzzle. We really hope our intent is to continue doing this research every single year, and looking at what does career literacy look like in the American economy? What does our network strength look like in the American economy? What does our employment empowerment look like in the American economy? And so we really want to invite others to, you know, join us in developing career literacy and network strength and employment empowerment. Join us in measuring that being mindful of that and tracking that so that we really can have that difference that we’re attempting to have all of us and expanding career pathways for folks across the lifespan that makes perfect sense. So

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 19:58
I am immediately going to like the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment offices, there are so many industries trying to connect people to jobs. And it feels like there’s a lot of disconnect when something this basic, free is available. It’s like hello world, we need to get this out to everybody, I am so thrilled that you are offering you’re connecting these dots and offering this resource for those that are looking for employment or wanting to be career ready.

Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight 20:27
Well, we really feel like it’s a privilege to be able to work in this space with all of those who are so passionate about it more rain. And that’s what that’s what we’re attempting to do to is we’re really trying to be bring well grounded researched methods in order to inform the work that we can all do together. So it is a privilege to know that others really care about this and care about the individuals. One of the things that our national study revealed to us is that there are four out of 10 individuals in the United States who would rate themselves low in both career literacy and network strength. And that’s a lot of people in order to, to have an impact, you know, going into the future. And so if that’s what we’re seeing in our general population is that foreign 10 feel low in current literacy, and lo and network string, we have a lot of work to do, again together on this. And so that’s what we’re really seeing is this begins to shed light on what are you doing that is increasing career literacy. And by the way, increasing career literacy in and of itself, while it is good, it is not sufficient, in order to move individuals into this employment empowerment, it will take the intersection and the addition of increasing their network strength to and that requires us as individuals, as you are mentioning, you gave some good examples there that will require us to spend our own social capital on that happening. Yes, that may require us to rethink some of the structures that we have, even inside of organizations where we’re doing a good job with career literacy, or we can improve doing career literacy. But also amplifying that and augmenting that with network strength, we really have to see those go hand in hand, in order to make a dent in helping individuals expand their pathways to economic growth and opportunity.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 22:38
Boy, at this time, we’re employment is such a challenge. And there’s such a need for people in the workforce. And we want people to be in jobs that they enjoy, and they want to stay with your tools, to me are an amazing source of hope.

Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight 22:56
Thank you, thank you. And then I will compliment the team on that, they will be very happy to hear that. And that is definitely where much of our proof of concept has been is that we had, I can remember a focus group or even where an individual said, Gosh, sometimes when I take these kinds of surveys, they make me feel worse about myself and try for the agile work profiler makes me feel better about myself. And so if we can use tools that will increase self confidence, and that will increase self worth. And we’ll help individuals again, in this career literacy begin to see that they can bring value into this marketplace that they know what their strengths and interests are, that they can have that vision and begin to get on that pathway to preparation for that career that they want to have and really open up the the number of careers that an individual will consider in the places where they will say, I have choices and I bring value into a variety of places.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 24:02
Yes, yes. Especially since so many careers didn’t exist 20 years ago, and so many more will exist 20 years from now. We need to know our strengths. And not necessarily I make a good X or Y. But we have to be able to stretch it beyond that.

Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight 24:18
Yes, yes. And, you know, I feel like educators and people working with youth people, coaching adults, I feel like everybody’s working so hard at trying to do this. And so our desire is that this research just shines a little light on some really some some areas in which we know are associated with employment empowerment for individual tools, so that we can drive more intentionally into developing the career literacy and developing their network strength alongside of that.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 24:55
Perfect so schools could easily be at In these two focal points and adding in the agilities profile for all of their students, what if I were an ambitious 18 year old wanting to get a great job? Is there a step or two you would really emphasize that our youth might take to get going on this.

Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight 25:17
Most certainly even at our website, we have a really cool resource called Draw your future with agilities. And so it’s a video tutorial that you can go through and you basically sketch out we’ve done it with Patty dribble, volsky up your creative genius. And you can sketch out like what’s your current reality today as this 19 year old, and then taking the agile work profiler, what are your agilities because those are going to be how you’re going to get to your desired future. So really drawing out that desired future that you want to have. And then the experience takes you back through and you do three big steps, three bold steps, because you have to begin to see yourself making progress. And so you do those bold steps, and then holding yourself accountable to every day doing something towards one of those big bold steps. And you can you can see how your agilities will help you accomplish those big bold steps. So if I were an 18 year old, and I wanted to actually be a ski instructor in Colorado, that as an example, and I wanted to be an instructor in Colorado, and so I’m thinking about what is it that I need to do to get myself on the pathway? What is something that an instructor has to be able to do they have to be able to develop others? So is there anything that I’m good at now that I could start actually volunteering, and teaching people how to do I mean, maybe I know how to ski, maybe I know how to bike, maybe I know. But that you know, beginning to develop my skills, to be an instructor would be some of the things that I could actually start to do. And that’s where the agile work profiler kind of would help you see, oh, these are some of the work. These are the agilities that would be used in that job. Now I can start to take some steps towards developing that. Also, I think doing an informational interview with somebody who has a job similar to what you want to do. Looking at those opportunities, like we said, in the career explorer tools like, Well, what do you have to have in terms of an education in order to do that job? And how are you going to get prepared for that? Where are there opportunities all across the United States to prepare for a particular kind of job that you want to have? I think those are the kinds of things that people need to do to begin exploring. I really do suggest just making sure that as you’re building up your career literacy, that you’re also trying to build your network strength. And so like, who are three people I know who ski and what are the best ski instructors that they’ve ever had? And how would I start to develop and move into that space?

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 27:57
That is crystal clear. And I think those are very helpful baby steps. And oh, my gosh, Patti’s work with drawing things out. For those that don’t know, Patti was one of my first guests when I launched the podcast. And she’s actually drawn it out for my school, my micro school, working with parents, drawing out our visions, and then taking baby steps every day. It’s, it’s really the cumulative effect. And the visual, makes it wonderful to so I really encourage people to go and do that on your website, and I’ll make sure to put the link in the show notes. Excellent. So Leigh Anne, I’d love to pivot and learn a little bit about this wonderful person behind the DeBruce Foundation. So I have a few turbo time questions for you.

Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight 28:41
I’m ready. Okay,

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 28:44
so what is the last book you read

Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight 28:47
undistracted by Bob Gough? And some people might Oh undistracted. Yeah, check it out.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 28:56
I may need that. To inspirational folks that you’d love to meet.

Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight 29:03
Oh my goodness, I would love to meet Condoleezza Rice, and another individual who I would love to meet. who is still living? I don’t know. It’s on a whim. Julia Roberts. I just think she’d be fascinating.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 29:20
And she’s, she’s still killing it. She’s back. Back on the silver screen again. Yeah. Ageless, timeless. Well, what is a pet peeve of yours?

Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight 29:34
Oh, being late. I had a band instructor who always said if you’re on time you’re late. And so he drilled that into my mind. And so now I’m like, No, you’re on time you’re late. And so I yeah, my pet peeve might be being late. I try not to be late and I don’t like for others to be late either. That just waste everybody’s time.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 29:52
Yes, I agree. I think it’s a thing of courtesy and definitely living in Latin America. I had to rethink how it came Just from culture to culture,

Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight 30:01
yes, as I have traveled and been in other places, I realized that that is different than my particular mindset, which is a lot healthier to what I’ve experienced that I’m like, hmm. So this makes life a little bit easier. So opposed to that at all. I’m mindful of, I can be wasting people’s important time and energy if I’m not on time. So I try

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 30:27
Yes. Because once a passion that you bring to career development,

Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight 30:33
you know, a passion that I bring is just really wanting to improve the quality of life for others. That’s been from the time I was a teacher all the way through my career. And so I think that, that is where I still get to work on that every day at the debriefs Foundation. Because, as we, you know, as we help people expand their opportunities into the future, I really hope that that’s done with a lens of improving their quality of life for them.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 31:01
And yes, yes. And what’s a favorite thing or fun fact about Missouri? Oh,

Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight 31:09
a favorite thing or fun fact about Missouri, is that we are a state with a lot of caves. That’s not necessarily something but if you come to Missouri, you should definitely check out our caves. We’re known for a lot of other things, but our caves are amazing. Love it.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 31:32
Leann. I like to wrap up the interview with a magic wand moment. So I’m handing you this magic wand. And we want to improve the quality of life of everybody through having them be employed and maximizing their potential. What would you wish for to make this happen?

Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight 31:53
I would wish for us to be united in our efforts where so many of us have this goal for people to be employment empowered, and to be on a positive trajectory, you know, economically stable, upwardly mobile are so many of us have that goal, I would just really like for us to be able to have those dialogues and to work together towards that goal with intentionality. Obviously, I’m gonna say, building for literacy and network strength as we do that. I want to really believe that we should be intentional about measuring that as we go and being successful, and doing it all together. Like we’re all in this together. And it’s not something that we’re doing to people. This is I mean, individuals build their career literacy, individuals build their network strength, we as organizations should be here to support their efforts in doing that.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 32:49
Amen. Wow, I share your vision. And I am very grateful for the work that you and the diverse Foundation are doing for your new report. And just for the service that you offer, thank you for being our guest today.

Dr. Leigh Anne Taylor Knight 33:05
Thank you, Maureen. And thank you audience it was good to be with you today.

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 33:19
One of the things I’ve really appreciated about Leanne and the debris foundation is the thing they want to make sure of is that our youth are thriving beyond school. Their tools are applicable, all the way from secondary school, through every stage of adulthood. This study is transformational. Employment, empowerment. There has rarely been a time that this wisdom is more necessary. I love that those who use the tools of career literacy and network strength can greatly enhance both their immediate and long term employment situation. This is reason enough for all of us to pay attention. And those of us in businesses or who can influence a business really need to think about how we might invest our own social capital to amplify the network of our youth or those who are unemployed or underemployed. We can make an important difference. In a side conversation with Leanne I shared that I plan to go in and draw your future with agilities with my two daughters, I think it’s a great time for me to retake the agilities and for all three of us to apply Patti Deborah Lau skis visioning strategies. My micro school used her present reality to desired reality drawing brainstorming in the spring of 2020. And again a few weeks ago, here’s to all of us uniting our efforts, and aligning with Leah man’s passion for improving the quality of life for others. Let’s make sure our youth have employment, empowerment through career literacy, and network strength. Thank you as always, for being a part of the education evolution

Maureen O’Shaughnessy 35:25
I know how challenging it is to make changes inside your own school or community. I’ve spent years working with schools around the world on creating learner centered programs. And it always struck me how much schools were able to get done with the right tools and guidance. If you’re ready to make changes like this in your own school, let’s talk and put together an action plan. Visit education backslash consult for a free 15 minute call. And let’s see if we’re a good fit for more work together. Thanks again for listening. To support the education evolution. Subscribe so it lands in your podcast app and gets out to more decision makers. Then rate and review it. For more information in shownotes go to education evolution listeners, you are the ones to ensure we create classrooms where each student is seen heard, valued and thriving. We are in this together and we need you. Let’s go out and reach every student today. Thank you for listening, signing off. I am Maureen O’Shaughnessy, your partner in boldly reimagining education

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