American RadioWorks |
A student learns welding at a vocational high school in Massachusetts. (Photo: Emily Hanford)

Ready to Work

Vocational education was once a staple of American schooling, preparing some kids for blue-collar futures while others were put on a path to college. Today the new mantra is "college for all." But not everyone wants to go to college, and more than half of jobs don't require a bachelor's degree. Many experts say it's time to bring back career and technical education. This American RadioWorks documentary explores how vocational education is being reimagined.

Recent Posts

  • 09.17.14

    A company short on skilled workers creates its own college-degree program

    At a Toyota plant in Kentucky, young people are learning how to fix robots, earning associate's degrees and graduating with jobs that pay up to $80,000 a year.
  • 09.11.14

    A 21st-century vocational high school

    For years, vocational education was seen as a lesser form of schooling, tracking some kids into programs that ended up limiting their future opportunities. Today, in the nation's best vocational programs, things are different.
  • 09.10.14

    Career academies: A new twist on vocational ed

    Across the country, thousands of high schools are transforming into career academies. The idea is that students will be more engaged if they see how academics are connected to the world of work. And they’ll be more likely to get the postsecondary schooling they need to support themselves in today’s economy.
  • 09.09.14

    The troubled history of vocational education

    Vocational education was once used to track low-income students off to work while wealthier kids went to college. But advocates for today's career and technical education say things have changed, and graduates of vocational programs may have the advantage over graduates of traditional high schools.

American RadioWorks |
A student learns welding at a vocational high school in Massachusetts. (Photo: Emily Hanford)

Ready to Work

Vocational education was once a staple of American schooling, preparing some kids for blue-collar futures while others were put on a path to college. Today the new mantra is "college for all." But not everyone wants to go to college, and more than half of jobs don't require a bachelor's degree. Many experts say it's time to bring back career and technical education. This American RadioWorks documentary explores how vocational education is being reimagined.

Recent Posts

  • 09.17.14

    A company short on skilled workers creates its own college-degree program

    At a Toyota plant in Kentucky, young people are learning how to fix robots, earning associate's degrees and graduating with jobs that pay up to $80,000 a year.
  • 09.11.14

    A 21st-century vocational high school

    For years, vocational education was seen as a lesser form of schooling, tracking some kids into programs that ended up limiting their future opportunities. Today, in the nation's best vocational programs, things are different.
  • 09.10.14

    Career academies: A new twist on vocational ed

    Across the country, thousands of high schools are transforming into career academies. The idea is that students will be more engaged if they see how academics are connected to the world of work. And they’ll be more likely to get the postsecondary schooling they need to support themselves in today’s economy.
  • 09.09.14

    The troubled history of vocational education

    Vocational education was once used to track low-income students off to work while wealthier kids went to college. But advocates for today's career and technical education say things have changed, and graduates of vocational programs may have the advantage over graduates of traditional high schools.


Adoption stories


Beverly Fish
Ypsilanti, MI

Birth Country: South Korea
Decade of adoption: 1990s

Being an adopted parent has changed my life in a truly wonderful way. I became a member of a very special group of parents who shared their experiences of home studies, visa papers and the overwhelming, at times, amounts of paperwork needed to be completed for our adoption caseworkers. Instead of labor pains, we share the agony of waiting day by day for the phone to ring, telling us we have become new parents. Whether it is your first adoption or a second or third, there is always the suspenseful wait. I remember getting the call that I had received my referral from Korea for a baby boy. He immediately became my son, Morgan.

From that moment, I was a mother. The hard part for adoptive parents is often the fact that all you have is a photo. That photo becomes your lifeline. I carried it with me at all times, showing it to everyone. I think I even showed it to strangers at the supermarket! Fortunately, I had become a member of a support group of adoptive parents who helped me through the wait. I shopped for baby things, had a baby shower and fixed up Morgan's room. Every night I sat in his room holding his picture, in my rocking chair, dreaming of the day when I would actually be holding my little boy.

December 16 will always be a special day in my heart as Morgan's arrival day. Most adoptive families celebrate "gotcha' day" or "airplane day" as the first day that their child became part of their "forever family." For me, it is the day to reflect on the long struggle to jump through all the hurdles that it took to finally become a mother. As I watch the video of the first time I saw my son in his orphanage, I always feel tears well up in my eyes. I will always remember holding him close to me and how he put his little arms around my neck and nuzzled my shoulder.

Two years later, on March 29, I repeated my experience as I held my daughter in my arms at Metro Airport in Detroit while friends and family gathered around to see Morgan's new baby sister. That night, once all the visitors had left, Morgan ran upstairs and brought down his special "blankie" and wrapped it around his little sister.

Today, I am an avid supporter of adoption. As a member of our Korean Culture Camp and our Families for Children support group, my life has been enriched through all the wonderful people I have met who share the one thing that bonds us: a love for our children and their Korean heritage. I am always happy to share my stories with anyone who is thinking about becoming an adoptive parent. It will change your life forever.



Back to Adoption Stories


American RadioWorks |
A student learns welding at a vocational high school in Massachusetts. (Photo: Emily Hanford)

Ready to Work

Vocational education was once a staple of American schooling, preparing some kids for blue-collar futures while others were put on a path to college. Today the new mantra is "college for all." But not everyone wants to go to college, and more than half of jobs don't require a bachelor's degree. Many experts say it's time to bring back career and technical education. This American RadioWorks documentary explores how vocational education is being reimagined.

Recent Posts

  • 09.17.14

    A company short on skilled workers creates its own college-degree program

    At a Toyota plant in Kentucky, young people are learning how to fix robots, earning associate's degrees and graduating with jobs that pay up to $80,000 a year.
  • 09.11.14

    A 21st-century vocational high school

    For years, vocational education was seen as a lesser form of schooling, tracking some kids into programs that ended up limiting their future opportunities. Today, in the nation's best vocational programs, things are different.
  • 09.10.14

    Career academies: A new twist on vocational ed

    Across the country, thousands of high schools are transforming into career academies. The idea is that students will be more engaged if they see how academics are connected to the world of work. And they’ll be more likely to get the postsecondary schooling they need to support themselves in today’s economy.
  • 09.09.14

    The troubled history of vocational education

    Vocational education was once used to track low-income students off to work while wealthier kids went to college. But advocates for today's career and technical education say things have changed, and graduates of vocational programs may have the advantage over graduates of traditional high schools.