Middle School College Exploration

Research has shown that starting college and career planning is too late in high school. Parents should engage their students in middle school to explore and make informed decisions based on who they are as young adults.

Length & Duration: 60-minute live, virtual meetings once a week for 4 weeks

This Working Group will help parents support their students to:

  • Begin an introspection on their personal interests and passions, creating a vision board for their life’s path.

  • Explore 16 career clusters.

  • Think about how they should prepare for the transition to high school.

  • Discover different approaches to their career pathways by looking at postsecondary options.

  • Understand the skills necessary to be prepared for postsecondary pathways.

  • Research possibilities for postsecondary funding.

  • Set long- and short-term goals and develop time-management techniques.

Middle School Career Exploration


Mia Bradford

Mia Bradford

Mia Bradford is the Director and Founder of Project Explore, a comprehensive college and career readiness program for middle school students in Houston Independent School District's (HISD). In addition, she is responsible for the implementation of early college awareness instruction on all HISD middle school campuses. She spent the first 10 years of her career as a New York City School Counselor and Director of College Counseling before relocating to Houston. She currently serves as a Texas OnCourse Leader Fellow and facilitates a course on financing college for Rice University. Mia is a graduate of Houston Black Leadership Institute’s Class IV and the inaugural class of Leadership ISD, Harris County.

As a college access professional, Mia is passionate about ensuring that students from underserved communities are aware of their post-secondary college and career options via early college awareness initiatives. Mia is also the founder of Beyond the Busyness, where she helps high achieving women go from a hectic to harmonious lives by implementing simple self-care strategies. She does this through online and in person events as well as Mastermind groups.

Mia is a native Californian and received her Bachelor’s in Economics and Spanish-Linguistics from UCLA, followed by her Master’s in School Counseling from New York University.