When Simone-Monet Wahls noticed there was a lack of organizations and information targeted to young adults that focused on providing career-based information, she founded Future Executives, Inc. (FE) based in N.Y.C. in 1989, followed by a website (futureexecutives.org) in 2009.
"In the United States, school age people's needs have changed drastically over the last 20 years. Technological advances have been the greatest impact on that change. The educational system overall has not met the growing needs of the new technologically advanced market. In addition, many vocational programs that were in schools no longer exist and college grads are also not fully prepared for the current job market. Therein lies the huge disconnect. The education that is needed is one that provides the skill sets and tools needed to create businesses or have successful careers," says Wahls when she explains what promoted her to launch FE and the website. "Most people have not been engaged in assessments that match their personal infinities and personal desires and thus have not a clue what their skill sets are and what they do ‘really well’ ". Finally they are unaware of what opportunities are available outside of the traditional 9-5, which too is soon to be a thing of the past."
FE is a nonprofit organization that provides services for children and young adults, while the website offers a virtual resource and service-based center for career exploration and personal development using a multimedia platform.
And it is through the website that FE is gaining much-needed exposure. "We are gaining international admirers daily to our website. Our website is a little over two years old and already allows us to offer international access to assist our groups in building their dreams," she says. "Our analytics show that people in over 30 countries visit our site regularly and we have a tremendous amount of people visiting from Russia, Germany, China, Japan, South Africa, United Kingdom, Brazil and France. We are very excited and proud of our growth."
According to Wahls, the top three goals are: "Share- Through our virtual and in-person materials and programs, we share the vast knowledge and resources of many people to children and young adults. We are attracting innovative tech savvy partners to work with us to expose future leaders to the latest digital and technological knowledge and career opportunities. The blogging area of our website best allows us to mass share ideas and concepts as it translates into over 40 languages." The second goal is: "Learn- Our website launched in 2009 and we offer skill and career development resources as well as virtual volunteers narratives. Our virtual volunteers share their experiences via content profiles, blogs, and/or radio interviews. Our media platform educates and inspires future leaders and our entrepreneurship games teach the importance of how to build and maintain an enterprise," explains Wahls.
And lastly, Wahls hopes to: "Build-No one person can do all of this alone, which is why we rely upon our vast network of people and resources. By developing our virtual community, we are cultivating, a forward-thinking, support base that offers the essential golden keys (via mentoring, education, funding and social networking) needed to create and sustain successful future leaders."
In addition to the website, FE often tours schools, driving home to students the possibilities of various career opportunities. "So far this year, we have worked with (in-person and on the web) over 500 children and young adults in our target market this year. We have had teachers, parents and others within our target group reach out for lesson plans and in-person facilitation mentoring," says Wahls. "We have supported career exploration, enrichment programs, scholarships, job referrals and entrepreneurial navigation. In a few weeks, I, along with a 10 and 27-year old, will speak to over 250 children about steps to take towards career exploration and entrepreneurship ventures."
FE takes a hands-on approach when it comes to mentoring future executives. "Future Executives, Inc. offers customized in-person as well as web-based learning. We offer one-day lifetime services. We sponsor free panels and one free in-person presentation for groups. We are currently doing a Future Executives Global Citizenship Initiative Program that is also free. Our more focused projects require a fee and/or sponsorships as the work would be based upon the needs of our clients," Wahls explains.
Although the organization is successful, and the website has only added to that success, Wahls is not stopping there. She has much planned for this year. "In addition to the Future Executives, Inc., we are working with the Global Citizenship Initiative," she explains. "We are currently developing a few web series as well as furthering the capabilities of our very young virtual office/website. We are also going to be working with individuals who are ready to build and maintain their own websites for free."
Wahls has great hope for children who will become the world’s future executives. "Businesses and the globe are in need of creators and innovators of information. People who know what they do well will contribute to the advancement of the globe," proclaims Wahls. "Future Executives, Inc. is on a mission to support sustainable growth in young people who utilize our services."