PORTLAND — In the coming week, high school students across Maine will be given a new tool to help make decisions about higher education, careers and other life choices.

Navigating the Real World, a Portland nonprofit, will distribute the first printed version of its website, which features video interviews with more than 50 people in their 20s, most of them Mainers. The young people talk about what they’ve done since high school, what they wish they had been told back then and what they would do differently.

The nonprofit plans to deliver 70,000 copies of the 16-page tabloid newspaper to high schools and some middle schools across Maine, said Tom Tracy, founder and executive director of Navigating the Real World.

“Maine people in their 20s are struggling with many serious challenges: a scarcity of good jobs, the high cost of post-secondary education, high levels of student and credit-card debt, and unforeseen difficulties of living on their own,” Tracy said. “They have learned from experience what those following them need to hear.”

Tracy, a former alternative education teacher at Bonny Eagle High School, plans to make the newspaper a twice-yearly publication and involve high school students in conducting interviews. His organization has received financial support from Hannaford Bros., Wright Express and the University of Southern Maine.

The website, NavigatingTheRealWorld.org, also features interviews with local employers, who talk about what they need from workers and what they’re getting in the current job market.


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