6-8th Grade Career Readiness Planning


Dream BIG    Go BIG or Go Home    Put Your BIG Pants On   What’s the BIG Deal?

There are a lot of well-known phrases that deal with BIG. And what we are collectively working towards accomplishing with the CUC2C 6-8th Grade Career Readiness Planning goal team is indeed a very BIG deal!

This team brought together the key players from schools, after school programs, and organizations to collaborate on a common vision and strategies to foster skill development and career exploration for all 6-8th grade youth that:

  • Uses the existing strengths of all organizations
  • Expands initiatives that are doing well
  • Reaches all students in the community
  • Identifies gaps of current programs
  • Can leverage additional resources for success
  • Will involve local business buy-in

The facilitator was Topper Steinman, Educational Consultant. He guided the team through the process of learning about all of the great programs and initiatives already being done, how we can collaborate more, and will help us to look at what can be expanded upon for greater reach.

Here are the documents used at the meeting.

Vision and Strategy         Data summary         WFR Action Plan  

The following documents were a result from the kickoff meeting.

Vision draft        Processes        Most Important Strategies   

Strategy draft – Table 1          Strategy draft – Table 2    

Strategy draft – Table 3          Strategy draft – Table 4

Planning meetings will be held in the months to come to develop a Strategic Plan for community-wide career awareness and experiences for our students.  We look forward to great minds making great things happen!

Below is the team of key players working hard to assist the youth in our community so that they have the career education, awareness, and experiences to help get them get on the path for success.

Community Partners for 6-8 Grade Career Education and Awareness

Click on individual name for detailed information.

Mindy Cain_web
Director of Workforce Readiness & Member Relations
Co-Director of CU Cradle 2 Career Partnership
Educational Consultant & Kick-Off Moderator
Champaign County Chamber of Commerce
CU Cradle 2 Career and Martin Hood Friese & Associates


Steve Adam
Dawn Blackman
Scout Executive Prairielands Council
Outreach/Youth Pastor
Assistant Director
Boy Scouts of America
Champaign Church of the Brethren
Illinois Informatics Institute and the CU Community Fab Lab


Charles Burton
Chief Operating Officer
Director of Operations
District Coordinator of Career Programs & Community Partnerships
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Illinois
Don Moyer Boys & Girls Club
Champaign Unit 4 Schools


Photo Coming Soon
Nick Elder
Pat Dessen
Counselor Edison Middle School
Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation
Education for Employment System #330
Champaign Unit 4 Schools


Angi Franklin Picture 10.11.17
Mary Garma photo ID
Linda Gibbens
Mary Garman
Principal Jefferson Middle School
Vocational Options Program Coordinator
Director of Grant-Based Programs
Champaign Unit 4 Schools
Cunningham Children’s Home
Urbana School District 116


Photo Coming Soon
Todd Griffith
JMS Counselor
Special Projects Coordinator
Co-Director of CU Cradle 2 Career Partnership
Champaign Unit 4 Schools
Education for Employment System #330
CU Cradle 2 Career


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Robert McGrath
District AVID Coordinator
Director of Secondary Teaching & Learning
CUC2C 6-8 Grade WFR
Champaign Unit 4 Schools
Champaign Unit 4 Schools
Committee Member


Janice Mitchell
Photo Coming Soon
Carol Packard
Executive Director
CUC2C 6-8 Grade WFR
Principal Franklin Middle School
Urbana Neighborhood Connections Center
Committee Member
Champaign Unit 4 Schools


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Career Summit pic 2017
Angela Schoonover
Community Outreach Coordinator
Operation Hope Career Services Placement Liaison
Champaign Unit 4 Schools
Champaign Unit 4 Schools
Champaign Unit 4 Schools


Photo Coming Soon
Photo Coming Soon
Javae Wright
Scott Woods
Lead4Life, Inc.
Urbana Middle School