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Overview of AWP Early Pilot Study with High School Students

In 2018, The DeBruce Foundation worked with an urban high school in Kansas City, Kansas, to test how well the Agile Work Profiler (AWP) and Career Explorer Tools worked in promoting career literacy and related skills among high school students. To this end, The Foundation conducted a pilot study that included a career awareness survey to examine the effects of these tools.

In a controlled trial, a group of students utilized the Agile Work Profiler and Career Explorer Tools under teacher guidance, while others remained in control groups that did not receive any treatment. All students in the study took the career awareness survey before and after the research trial.


The findings revealed students who used The DeBruce Foundation tools demonstrated substantial gains in various areas related to career literacy. The students…

  • Felt more confident in their ability to find information about prospective careers,
  • Considered a greater number of distinct occupations,
  • Felt a greater sense of self-reliance in their career decision-making process, and
  • Perceived fewer obstacles in the way of achieving their career goals.

The high school pilot study results reinforced the value and utility of The DeBruce Foundation’s tools for individuals and are central to The Foundation’s mission of expanding pathways to economic growth and opportunity.

Both the Agile Work Profiler and Career Explorer Tools are part of a larger theory of change being advanced by The DeBruce Foundation. When one knows their “Agilities” or how strengths and interests connect to work activities and what value they can bring to the economy, they begin to develop career literacy. Career literacy is a key ingredient in employment empowerment, along with network strength. People with a high degree of employment empowerment earn more, have shorter spells of unemployment, and operate with a wider view of opportunity.

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