By Amanda Kuhnert
Two students enter their junior year in high school with similar capabilities. One graduates two years later and heads off to college. The other doesn’t receive her high school diploma. This is a scenario that teachers and school administrators see played out time and time again, and one that Deborah Singiser of Chittenden experienced firsthand when her daughter, now a college freshman, was finishing up high school.
While there are countless variables that impact a student’s career trajectory, Singiser, who has a background in education and college administration, was inspired to tackle one in particular: equal access to career-development services. “I am particularly motivated to support underprivileged adolescents who struggle with a lack of support at home and school counselors who are overwhelmed in an era of structural barriers and inequalities in opportunity among youth,” Singiser said.
When Singiser decided on this business model, she worked with Nancy Shuttlesworth, her advisor through the Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC), to set up a L3C— low-profit limited liability company—that aligned with her mission. Singiser is the only private career development services provider in Rutland County who offers one-on-one career advising to students regardless of their ability to pay.
A changing reality for today’s students
“I launched CareerVisor in January 2021 to fill the awareness gap among students about the job market that is changing at an unprecedented rate, while the number of career pathways is also greater than ever before,” she said. Singiser said her goal is to empower students to match who they are with possible “right-fit” careers—and make a plan.
Singiser, who opened her business in the heart of the pandemic, has seen the direct impact of Covid-19 on students as they plan their futures. More students are reconsidering whether college is the right move. “Simultaneously, their school counselors are unable to give adequate individual time and attention to help their students with the decision-making process because of the extra demands Covid has put on them as counselors,” she said.
Thanks to her ability to work remotely, Singiser is able to cast a wide net, supporting students throughout Vermont. For more info: deborahsingiser.com.
Singiser began working with an advisor at the Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) in October 2020, as she was getting ready to launch her business. Among other services, Singiser’s advisor helped her define her ideal market and services, finalize her website, and develop an email marketing and networking plan.
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