A real world opportunity for young minds, in a digital space, is what drives the staff at Rocket 21.


Whether your middle school group needs a space to collaborate on a project or your high school students need expert input, Rocket 21 gets in front of today’s Generation Z unlike any other platform.

In 2009, the founders saw an urgent need to create a platform that safely connected tweens and teens with business professionals from all walks of life. Hailing from the worlds of business to science to the arts, these professionals volunteer their time to mentor these students in different career paths. The platform is a modern “Career Day” come to life on social media. They call it the GPS for Life.

“The platform is fun,” says Mark Grayson, one of Rocket 21’s founders, “but it has a higher purpose.” Grayson continues, “Kids generally draw inspiration from people or resources in their parents’ and schools’ networks, which are necessarily bound by their own life experience, interests, and drives.” Grayson also says, “In the case of the disadvantaged youth, focus groups reveal the amount of previewing is non-existent. I think it’s safe to say that for most youth the process of figuring out who you are going to be when you grow up is very hit-or-miss.”

When Grayson invited students to test the site last year, seventh grader Tommy Whitely latched onto the platform immediately. “I really loved it right away,” Tommy said. “I was able to connect with a lot of interesting people, like a man in Australia who has a dive ship and does whale and shark research. It was really interesting.”

For Tommy, it was an easy tool to use to look up his interests and connect with professionals who work in those interest areas. Tommy explains, “I love photography. My goal is to become a National Geographic wildlife photographer.” Rocket 21, can help bring Tommy a little closer to lifelong goal.

Rocket21 is also of service to educators. For them, Rocket21 provides ways to make learning about career paths easy and engaging. Features Include:

  • Customized support for Project-Based Learning
  • Pop-up experts to support your lessons
  • Personalized Group Spaces for you and your students
  • Custom challenges, contests and competitions to inspire your students
  • Classroom or school assemblies involving Rocket21 partners and professionals

Rocket21 continues to inspire through contests (Dream Here, Dream Big, Dream Big for the President, Dream Green), and apps, and games for its students. This allows for an expanding community of students to geek out with some incredible online tools designed to help them get a huge jump on where they want to go in life.

Rocket21 is geared towards kids from 9 through 15, but anyone under 18 is welcome to join. Check out their website and encourage your students to apply for the most recent contest involving NASA and the National Institute of Aeronautics (deadline February 26th). Rocket21 wants students to advance their dreams. It’s their future ... and Rocket21 helps them map out their destiny.

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Issue 20.2 | Fall 2018

          Arkansas State University