Career Trek was established in 1996, before most of us were on the Internet! Founder Darrell Cole started Career Trek as a pilot project at the University of Manitoba. We’ve grown every year, now welcoming over 800 young people into programs annually.
We are dedicated to gathering records of past participants, staff, and programs. These records tell the story of Career Trek, and showcase how far we’ve come.
My name is Kalkidan Mulugeta, I am a grade 11 student from the Maples Met School. The Maples Met School is a school where instead of doing “normal” high school we go out to do internships on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s. Instead of doing normal high school work, we do projects based on our interests to get credits. We still do math the same.
Here is a photo from 2015 of a Junior Staff, from the Junior Staff Mentorship Program (JSMP). The Junior Staff are grades 9-12 students who help Career Trek staff by making sure the kids are focused, and helping staff with anything for the lesson. It helps highschoolers with getting their volunteer hours, and is a great experience to put on your resume as well. For more info on the Junior Staff mentorship program.
This year Career Trek got the opportunity to be a part of an amazing program run through the Isaac Newton School in the Winnipeg School Division. The Share the Magic Book Giveaway Program. This program lets kids get the opportunity to pick up to four books, that they can keep, for free! The organization has distributed over 65,000 books to kids since 2007.
In 2012 Career Trek launched a new project the Seven Oaks School Division Project (SOSD) This project is aimed towards grade 5 and 6 kids and letting them try out different careers at the University of Manitoba, University of Winnipeg, and Red River College. They get the opportunity to go after school to these post-secondary schools and learn about 24 different careers.
Photo shown above is from programming in 2011
June 2010 – June 2011 was a celebration of 15 years for Career Trek. 15 years of youth getting the opportunity to experience and try out different careers. “To provide Manitobans with a wide range of experiences and information designed to develop the knowledge, skills, relationships, and values consistent with career and educational success” This is Career Trek’s mission, the goal is to make sure Manitobans have the ability to be exposed to a lot of different opportunities and career paths. So that they can make the best career decision.
(Photo included is from WOW Norman, in 2012.)
In 2010 Wonder of Work branched out again, this time even further, to NorMan. Now kids in NorMan are getting a chance to experience this amazing opportunity as well. With this opportunity 120 10-11 year old kids get the chance to go to the University College of the North in The Pas, Hapnot Collegiate and Northern Manitoba Mining Academy in Flin Flon.
2009 was an exciting time for Career Trek as one of there programs, Wonder of Work, went out to Brandon! Now kids in Brandon can participate in the Wonder of Work Westman program, where they get to go to different universities and colleges to explore different careers. Every Saturday for 12 weeks from November till March.
In 2007 a Thesis Research proposal done by Kristen Klassen from the University of Manitoba, used Career Trek for her research. Her paper was on Career Exploration for Children with Disabilities. A driving question for this thesis is “inclusive career exploration programs make a difference in the cycle of poverty, unemployment, and social exclusion for people with disabilities?”
It was in Brandon with the Manitoba Bisons Basketball team that Angela Grospe found her passion for Athletic Therapy through hands-on experience. All of this because of a Career Trek program she went to in middle school.
Angela Grospe was in the Wonder of Work Winnipeg (WOW) program in 2002 and in the Get Ready to Work (GRTW) program in 2006. GRTW is a program that seeks out those who went through WOW, and Angela was one of those who got the opportunity to come back and be a part of GRTW.
She was always a busy kid taking karate and voice lessons all at the same time. She was curious about everything and was often immersed in books about her interests. “I grew up always saying yes to opportunities,” Grospe says.
What caught her interest was that she was going to be missing school once a week, but her experience was more than that. “see the different things….behind the scenes stuff for all the things you see in real life” Grospe says.
In 2005 the Children Rising Parkland Program started. The Children Rising program takes youth in Skownan First Nation and kids in surrounding communities, (which is 400 kilo-meters away from Winnipeg!!!) and gives them the opportunity to try out different careers at Universities, and Colleges in Winnipeg.
Here’s a letter from a Wonder of Work participants mother who had their daughter go into the program in 2002 and their son in the program in 2003. “This program has opened their eyes in so many ways” she says talking about how Career Trek has showed her kids that they can go to University and College, with “a little hard work and determination.”
Saturdays were the highlight of every week for Ashley Esau as a kid going to Career Trek (CT). Waking up early every Saturday to go to a University and try out a new career, it was the highlight of her childhood.