A bright green 32-foot, 22-thousand pound Fleetwood RV parked in front of the Luria Library Wednesday, to inspire students to find their passion in life.
Four of Roadtrip Nations staff members call this van home as they travel through California for two months, visiting 18 different community colleges in the state on their journey.
“Living in the RV, it’s really not bad,” said team member John Broadway. “We have everything we need here.”
Roadtrip Nations’ first trip took off back in 2001 when the three founders of the non-profit found themselves having no idea what to do after graduating from college.
This lead to the purchase of a broken down van they bought for $1, fixed up, painted with the cheapest color they could find, green.
They then drove across the country asking people from all walks of life who did what they loved one simple question- how did you get here?
The goal of the trip is to have conversations with students and help them decide what career best aligns with their interests.
As part of the career list, students can access interviews with successful professionals who share their experience in triumph and failure.
“Often people get deterred from their path by negative noise coming from what others are saying,” said Broadway. “That is causing them to not pursue a career and ultimately a life that’s going to make them happy.
“We want people to know that it’s important to listen to yourself, what you want and pursue it.”
To help give students direction, the organization has introduced the Roadmap.
The Roadmap is an online assessment where students can choose fields of interest and find lists that generates potential career choices suited for the student.
One of the team members Carla Huezo, 23, showed students how to use the Roadmap in front of the van.
“It’s such an easy tool to use and so easy to access,” said Huezo. “Even if you absolutely know exactly what you want to do, or if you have no clue, there’s always something that you can find useful.”
Students reacted positively to the system.
“It helps you correlate what your interests are with what job you might want,” said David Salvia, 72, who’s getting his twelfth degree at City College this semester.
Career counselor Val Eurman agreed with the positive response towards the event.
“I think Roadtrip Nation is a phenomenal tool,” she said. “It enables people to access interviews that students across the country have made with professionals and people in all kinds of different work fields.”
Founding what they learned from others so useful, the guys decided that they wanted to share their stories and knowledge with other people.
The result, a documentary series on PBS and people from all over the states coming together to ask others how they got where they are, and what they want to do next.