Rising Stars program sets teen on potential career path

Published on October 13, 2021

a man and a young woman shake hands for a photo as he hands her a certificate

Good grades and extracurricular activities are important, but 17-year-old Raiyah Boyer of Fort Worth knows it takes more than that to graduate from high school and prepare for college and a career.

Boyer is one of more than 50 students who took part in the most recent Rising Stars Youth Leadership Academy, a program that gives teens and pre-teens ages 12-18 the career development, leadership and life skills they need to succeed.

“I’ve gained a lot of confidence just by being a part of Rising Stars,” Boyer said. “Being put in different settings, meeting with new people and collaborating with other students as a part of Rising Stars has really pushed me to become a better me.”

The Timber Creek High School senior takes dual-credit classes and hopes to complete her associate of arts degree from Tarrant County College before graduation. But she says Rising Stars gave her opportunities she never imagined.

“We have plenty of amazing guest speakers that come to talk to us about their experiences in life, to help guide us and teach us,” Boyer said. One of those speakers was David Howard, who played eight seasons in the NFL, including a stint with the Dallas Cowboys. “He talked to us about his life and how to reach your goals. Through him, I was able to meet his daughter, Jocelyn Howard, who gave me the opportunity for a graphic design internship."

Luck? Not really. Rising Stars works to tailor its offerings to careers participants are interested in. The year-round program also addresses public speaking, college applications, money management and dressing for success — topics all teens can benefit from.

“Our goal is to give these teens possibilities and opportunities — to expose them to a variety of professional fields and social situations that will help them succeed,” said Steve Dworaczyk, who runs the program. “It’s so gratifying to see how much more confidence and poise they have after participating in the program.”

The Rising Stars Youth Leadership Academy fall session orientation is 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23, at Fellowship Corner, 1601 New York Ave. Call 817-392-8725 by Oct. 20 to reserve a seat.

Rising Stars is a program of the City of Fort Worth Neighborhood Services Department and Community Action Partners. Additional Rising Stars sessions continue through summer 2022. Learn more on their webpage.



Photo: Senior Raiyah Boyer received the Rising Stars Youth Leadership Academy 2021 award for outstanding character.



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