Lincoln man launches national youth career program

Published: Sep. 5, 2017 at 9:34 PM CDT
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Mike Smith opened his nonprofit, The Bay, back in 2010 to help kids find their way in the capital city. Ever since then, he's been expanding his message nationwide.

Tuesday he kicked off his new project called Find your Grind. The program is a partnership with three other people and Josten's Renaissance.

They are traveling across the U.S. on tour speaking to high school students about how to find their passions and turn them into a career, just like he did.

"The goal is stop asking kids what they want to be when they grow up, and show them who they can be," said Smith.

The Lincoln native's newest project, Find your Grind, is a tour teaching high schooler's about their options for the future.

"Showing them the road map and showing them how to get there is really how to inspire them. And so we are going to leave no career un-turned from like I said firefighters, to the director of Snap Chat. We are going to film everybody and capture all these stories," said Smith.

The project profiles dozens of professionals and how they got where they are in their career.

"So I try to use my story of a simple guy from Nebraska going out there and really tried to "find his grind" and how it led to starting things like The Bay," said Smith.

And Smith said finding your grind is really all about finding a skill set that's going to be valuable for years to come.

"Honestly I think that technology is like the blue collar job of tomorrow," said Smith.

Smith said about a third of the youth he talks to wants to be YouTube stars or Instagram famous. But for most teens that's not a realistic goal.

"If you end up famous because of it great. If you end up with a ton of Instagram followers great. But at the end of the day you have to have a skill. You have to have a craft. You have to have something that you're bringing to the world," said Smith.

Their program Smith said, is a way for kids to figure out their passions and turn them into a future. He enjoys working with kids, but said it's also great to show the country what others do in Lincoln, Nebraska, and teach them about our community.

The tour has 50 stops across the country. You can also access the curriculum on their