Awato (pronounced "a way to") offers career counseling and job matching to teens as part of the “Drive to 65 Act.” It is free to all New Hampshire students, families, educators, and employers, made possible by a federal grant to the NH Department of Education.
It originated with the passage of SB 276 (2019) that intends to have 65% of NH's workforce possess some kind of post-secondary credential by 2025.
Awato uses a platform with several self-assessments intended to guide teens through various career paths. Each career option has information such as annual salary range, required education attainment, and other career information.
The platform also gives NH employers the ability to post apprenticeships, internships, and other job-shadowing opportunities. Students can search on local CTE and job opportunities and send resumes, cover letters, and educational information to apply.
Through the grant, Awato matches up to 50% of the compensation given to students (up to $15/hr) to the employer as an incentive for them to participate and welcome younger people.
For homeschoolers, parents/guardians share a login with their student and select the “NHDE” as the coordinator; it is on page 4 of the list of schools. A single individual at the Department of Education will act as the coordinator for all homeschoolers that participate. She has limited access to the students’ information – the students’ names, profiles, emails, assessment results, and any career/degree matches that are selected or saved on the platform; the NH DOE will only see the students’ addresses, phone numbers and birth dates if it is supplied by the participants.
If the teen wishes to apply for an employment opportunity, the NH DOE coordinator will be alerted, but it is up to the parent and student to follow up with the employer.
Data is collected, such as basic demographics (name, birthdate, address, school), career and interest results, but Awato has limited access to it, primarily for trouble-shooting. Data is not shared or sold to other third-parties, including the NH DOE.
This is an opportunity for career counseling that many homeschoolers cannot access through their local public schools. GSHE hopes this helps support our older homeschoolers explore post-secondary pursuits and provides more guidance-counselor functions to our community, if they choose to participate.