Career Readiness for Teens – A Mandatory Need

Helen-teach-An2-cropWhen I formed the nonprofit Career Design Foundation in 2012, I did it specifically for elementary through senior high students. We are losing many of the fringe students in this group to other things more relevant to them than education and jobs – usually in the form of immediate gratification. Unfortunately, our “ready-fire-aim” world is encouraging students to leave the educational process in record numbers.

It may be that a person on the fringes of society and the education process sees no point to educate themselves for a bleak job future. The research shows that today’s middle-of-the-road students can’t find jobs after a college education.

Why would a marginal middle school student from a difficult home environment see any future in education without a meaningful plan of attack REINFORCED BY EDUCATORS?

More News about Career Design Foundation

Career Design Foundation hosted a Teen Career Readiness Workshop on two consecutive weekends – Saturday July 29 and Saturday, August 5. Here is a parent’s reaction to the program:

On Day One of the workshop, Dr. Harkness’s client David Leonnig spoke about the advantages for young people – before they begin college – to have the insight and understanding about careers that he began to acquire in his late 40s.

The two-day workshop is designed for students to prepare for educational opportunities within a college prep or vocational path, and to understand their choices in terms of their interest and aptitudes. The goal is for students to make better educational choices prior to later college or vocational training and education.

Students will attend the first and second Saturdays. Parents will attend with their children on the second Saturday ONLY.


        Time: 1:00-4:00pm, both Saturdays
        Location: Career Design Associates, Inc.
        2818 S. Country Club Road, Garland, TX, 75043
        Call 972-278-4701 for more information, or email

Students attend both sessions. Parent(s) attend only the second session with their students.

Day 1

Students will complete various exercises and assessments to help them learn their strengths and aptitude for a variety of subjects. Each student will receive a binder to hold all of their assessment materials.

Carpooling options may be available – call for details. Parents who choose to wait in the area may want to visit Firewheel Mall while their children are working on the first day. From Career Design, you would return to Centerville Road, turn right onto E Centerville Rd. Follow E. Centerville about 3.5 miles to Firewheel Parkway, where you turn left. Proceed about 1.5 miles to Town Center Blvd., where you turn left. The mall is all around you.

Day 2

Students will go over the results of their assessments and learn how to apply that information. They will also learn possible career options that best match their results.

Email us at if you have any questions or would like to attend!

Learn to Manage Your Life and Career

Career Design Foundation is a non-profit designed to provide important career information and resources for middle school and high school students. Formed by Helen Leslie Harkness, Ph.D. and a team of forward-looking individuals from the private and public sector, the foundation is working with young people (pre-teen and teenagers) to identifying their current interests, strengths, values and natural talents.

After years of intense research, I have distilled the problems and possible solutions in a manuscript initially titled, Creating Educonomy: Reading, Writing, Arithmetic and REALITY.

We must call on parents, educators, community, and business leaders to become actively and purposefully involved in designing a CAREER MATURITY PROGRAM for our youth while they remain in school. Without this our entire economic system will continue declining and our American Dream will wither and fold!

Our Purpose

Career Design Foundation is a non-profit, formed by Helen Leslie Harkness, Ph.D. to provide current career information and resources for middle school and high school students which are directly connected to their possible future careers.

Through the foundation Dr. Harkness and the Career Design Foundation team are working with young people (pre-teen and teenagers) on identifying their current interests and potential, strengths, values and natural talents.

Click here to read more about the foundation.

Executive Director

Headshot_Helen_Harkness_150-200Helen Harkness Ph.D.

Dr. Harkness founded Career Design Associates, Inc. in 1978 after experiencing her own career chaos. “Freedom is Knowing your Options” is the creed, the fundamental principle and conviction of Dr. Harkness, who says that career change often occurs when the pain of present circumstances exceeds the fear of change. Her short-hand equation for individuals in this predicament is CC = P > F, which means one only changes careers when the pain is greater than the fear of the change itself.

As a futurist and career consultant for over three decades, she has learned how to watch the workplace and predict future career issues.  In 2009, she began to research how the Texas education system was educating graduates about careers. Through much research and experience with the children of her current and former clients she has been providing career guidance and gained much knowledge and experience in the career crisis and confusion they suffer from as teenagers and young adults.

Learn more about our Board of Directors.>