When Your Child Says No to College (page 2)

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Updated on Apr 2, 2014

For Kitchen Mavens

Dinner at home isn’t what it used to be. People are simply too tired to cook. Somebody’s got to take care of the “prepare” in “prepared foods”, put the “bake” in “fresh baked bread”, and the “home” in “just like homemade”. And that somebody might be sitting under your roof right now. The food service industry is the largest private sector employer in the country, second in public employment only to the U.S. government.  If your kid dreams of becoming a private chef to the stars, starting a catering business, or hosting a show on the Food Network, training is paramount, and college won’t necessarily help as much as culinary school and job experience. The unofficial Ivy League of cooking schools includes The Culinary Institute of America, The French Culinary Institute, California Culinary Academy, The New England Culinary Institute, Johnson and Wales, and the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute. For chefs with big dreams, but smaller bank accounts, there’s the American Culinary Federation’s Apprenticeship Program, a 3-year training opportunity that allows students to work full-time (and earn money doing it!) under the watchful eye of a chef mentor.  

For Healing Hands

When it comes to healing, Western medicine is barely out of puberty. Much of what America dubs “alternative” has been around practically since the dawn of civilization.  According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 36% of Americans above the age of 18 use some form of alternative or complementary medicine. In fact, in 1997, we shelled out $47 billion dollars for it. Alternative medicine has been growing at an astonishing rate. If you’ve got a kid with interest, some areas to explore include acupuncture, homeopathy, naturopathy, massage therapy or bodywork, and ayervedic medicine. Another very interesting field is Traditional Oriental Medicine (TOM). Although students need about two years of community college credits, the coursework then segues into hands-on study in everything from oriental herbs to tai chi. Check out the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, the National Center for Complementary or Alternative Medicine, or The American Massage Therapists Association.

For Itchy Feet

Sometimes a little wanderlust can lead to some major personal growth. And the good news is, your kid doesn’t need a trust fund to traverse the globe. All he needs is a little ingenuity and a willingness to work. Some of our favorite programs? Teaching English in Ghana through Interexchange (Program cost: $2,945 for the year, but food, housing, insurance, and other services provided), rural hospitality work in the Australian Outback through Alliances Abroad (Program fee: $2,200, but room, board, training, travel expenses, a jetlag recovery weekend at Australia’s Rainbow beach, and close to $900 a month salary included), volunteering on organic farms from Turkey to Taiwan, Brazil to Bulgaria, through (no fees and no pay, but room, board, and great hands-on experience), or the Rotary Youth Exchange program, which has been functioning for 75 years in 80 countries, completely through the club’s network of volunteers (no fees for placement, applicant pays for airfare, health insurance, and visas, but room and board and $50-100 a month in spending money is included).


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