Q: Hi Al, I have a 20 y/o daughter who has gone through two semesters at school. Two different schools. She doesn’t believe school is for her so she wanted to join the marines but her test score wasn’t high enough. We live in [a very small town] and jobs are hard to come by here. I realize she’s not alone in her quest for employment but I don’t know how to help her. I am worried and scared for her. Anything you can suggest will be greatly appreciated. —Phyllis F.
A: Hi Phyllis, thank you for contacting me. My heart goes out to you and daughter. I’m glad to hear that neither one of you has given up. Too often, when I hear a story like yours people have given up hope. The two of you are an inspiration. Please tell your daughter I said that.
Here are several organizations that will give her a chance to get out of town for awhile, expand her network, and be able to explore other options:
1. Have you considered Job Corps? I’m not sure if she meets all of the qualifications, but it’s worth looking into because in addition to training, they will also provide living arrangements.
2 and 3. Also, have her take a look at AmeriCorps and Peace Corps. Some the programs require a degree, but there are also a number of them that do not. This is direct quote from the AmeriCorps website: “Your education level doesn’t matter—just your commitment, energy and flexibility.”
Finally, if you haven’t thought of this already, she should definitely try a different branch of the armed services. Check out all of them, including the Coast Guard and the National Guard. The requirements and tests of the different branches are slightly different so, she may be able to get into a different one.
Take care and let me know how things are going. If none of this works out let me know and I’ll recommend a different course of action.
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