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In the 1990's the previous Exploring Program became the new Venturing program.

Today, Exploring is a worksite-based program. It is part of Learning for Life's career education program for young men and women who are 14 (and have completed the eighth grade) through 20 years old.

Exploring's purpose is to provide experiences that help young people mature and to prepare them to become responsible and caring adults. Explorers are ready to investigate the meaning of interdependence in their personal relationships and communities.

Exploring is based on a unique and dynamic relationship between youth and the organizations in their communities. Local community organizations initiate a specific Explorer post by matching their people and program resources to the interests of young people in the community. The result is a program of activities that helps youth pursue their special interests, grow, and develop.


Program Emphasis

Exploring programs are based on five areas of emphasis: career opportunities, life skills, citizenship, character education, and leadership experience.

Career Opportunities
  • Develop potential contacts that may broaden employment options
  • Boost self-confidence and experience success at school and work
Life Skills
  • Develop physical and mental fitness
  • Experience positive social interaction
  • Encourage the skill and desire to help others
  • Gain a keen respect for the basic rights of others
Character Education
  • Help make ethical choices
  • Fulfill one's responsibilities to society as a whole
Leadership Experience
  • Acquire leadership skills necessary to fulfill one's responsibilities in society
  • Develop a variety of leadership traits
Young adults involved in Exploring will
  • Gain practical knowledge of and experience in a career
  • Engage in a program of activities centered on career opportunities, life skills, citizenship, character development, and leadership experience to encourage the development of the whole person
  • Have opportunities to take on leadership roles
  • Have a chance to learn and grow in a supportive, caring, and enjoyable environment

Harris Study Findings

Exploring is a part of the Learning for Life career education program for young men and women who are 14 (and have completed the eighth grade) through 20 years old.*Exploring exists to accomplish a major goal: To provide the structure and resources needed for the youth of America to learn about career opportunities, to make ethical choices, and to achieve their full potential as individuals.

The Exploring program is specifically designed to incorporate the following experience areas: career opportunities, life skills, service learning, character education, a n d leadership experience. A close analysis of the activities, relationships, and experiences in the program demonstrates success in meeting the elements of healthy youth development .

Elements of Healthy Youth Development

The Exploring program contributes to the healthy development of today’s young adults by providing them with the environment, resources, and relationships they need to learn and grow.

A Positive Sense of Self-Worth and Usefulness

Exploring is focused on teaching youth about career fields that might interest them and encouraging them to prepare for the future. In doing so, the program aims to build self-worth and self-confidence in youth. In part, it does this by providing an atmosphere of teamwork, learning, and accomplishment.

Nearly all Explorers (98 percent) agree that Exploring activities help to prepare them for the future. The belief among members that Exploring contributes to their self-esteem is also strong: 92 percent of Explorers agree that being an Explorer has taught them to have more confidence in themselves and their abilities.

Self-worth is closely tied to relationships with others. Relationship building between youth, their peers, and adults plays an important developmental role by establishing a place of belonging and security and by fostering feelings of value. In Exploring, positive self-worth is reinforced through encouragement from others. Overall, 91 percent of Explorers agree that they receive such encouragement from other Explorers, and 94 percent agree that they are encouraged by their parents to participate in Exploring activities.

Positive self-worth is also supported through early leadership experiences in Exploring. About one in five Explorers (22 percent) hold an elected or appointed leadership position within the post.

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