About The Fitting Room Educational Media Corporation
The Fitting Room EMC is a Connecticut non-stock corporation, conducting not for profit activities related to the creation and dissemination of educational media.
The Fitting Room EMC We are working toward our vision of the future in which every child, regardless of race or zip code, graduates from high school. According to the US Labor Department, by 2016, 90% of the fastest growing and best paying jobs will require some post-secondary education. What happens to those who have not even completed their secondary education? Current data paints a dismal portrait of the life chances of a dropout compared to a high school graduate:
• They will be 72% more likely to be unemployed at any given time.
• When employed, they will earn $9000 less per year.
• They will be six times more likely to go to jail.
• 23% more likely to die prematurely.
Minorities, especially those in urban areas are over-represented among these dropouts. While white students have a graduation rate of 77%, that of blacks is 54%; for Latinos 56%. According to Michelle Alexander of the Kirwan Institute, an African American male student in New York City has an approximately 74 percent chance of dropping out.
We believe that many students are falling through the cracks because they never made the connection between education and the quality of their future. They simply haven't been shown the great possibilities they are eliminating when they drop out.
Our mission is to take kids on a virtual career day once a week from the time they are in 7th grade until they graduate, so that they can see the myriad careers that they can access through education. They will ‘travel' with hip young hosts to find out why a particular professional loves his or her job, learn about the required education and the tasks associated with the job. Through this series, a student from the projects in Detroit could ‘meet' a New York investment banker who looks just like her. A West Virginia student studying biology can 'shadow' a chiropractor from Connecticut who has built a career using biology.
We believe that when students find a career goal that they are passionate about, they will become determined to get the required education. Our virtual career day series will give the typical student over 150 different opportunities to discover their passion.
The series is called The Fitting Room, Our slogan is “ Try on a Possibility!” Each episode is two minutes long and designed to be shown in homeroom, study halls, school libraries,guidance offices or other places where students congregate. We endeavor to show as many role models as possible from groups that have elevated dropout rates. We ultimately hope to get enough funding to produce 40 videos to cover the 2011-2012 school year. We posted the first video on Sept 4, 2011 and will continue to post them until we run out of money. (With your help that won't happen.)
The Fitting Room Educational Media Corp. had the opportunity to do a focus group in an urban class of 8th graders. Each student was asked his or her goals. In that class, 7 of the 15 boys aspired to be professional athletes. The students were then shown 5 episodes of The Fitting Room. The following careers were featured; recreational therapist, illustrator, medicinal chemist, chiropractor, librarian. Each of these careers requires some amount of post-secondary education which was specified in the videos. Prior to seeing the videos not one of the students had chosen any of these narrow niche careers. Yet after viewing the videos, 14 out of 20 or 70% of the students wrote that they could see themselves being in one of the careers shown. This group includes 4 of the 7 boys who had chosen the extremely improbable dream of becoming a professional athlete. Exposure to achievable goals made all the difference. Further, when they embrace The Fitting Room careers, kids have to consider graduating from high school and pursuing higher education.
Please check out a sample episode of The Fitting Room by clicking on the Home button above
What we need and why:
We need you to help us give kids a reason to stay in school. Please help pay for this production. Each episode costs between $800 and $1000 to produce yet it has the potential to inspire any kid anywhere who has internet access. There are neat perks for your contributions above a certain dollar amount. Please visit www.indiegogo.com/thefittingroom to read about the perks and please donate.
The Fitting Room is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of The Fitting Room must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
Other Ways You Can Help:
No dollar amount is too small to have a positive impact. Everything you give is greatly appreciated. If you are or you know of professionals in NYC or CT who can get us into their workplaces for a shoot, please ask them to volunteer to be an ambassador for their profession by starring in an episode. Please ask them to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have some time to volunteer, please feel free to contact me at the email address above. We need help with publicity, website creation, graphic arts and general office work. Please forward a link to this profile to everyone you know who cares about the precarious state of education in the USA. Please link us to your Facebook page or Tweet about this project.
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