Our Story

Pathways2Possibilities: P2P began as a hands-on, interactive career expo for all 8th graders and opportunity youth, ages 16-24, in South Mississippi every November at the Coast Convention Center in Biloxi, Mississippi. The story of this unique event unfolds here to inspire you to join our effort or enlist our help in developing your own P2P experience for your community.

What Inspired P2P

SAWDC advised the Jackson County education committee that the best approach to creating its own version of WOO would be including employers and educators from the entire Mississippi Gulf Coast.  Someone, though, would have to “own” the project to make sure it crossed the line from idea to reality.  Committee member and Jackson County Civic Action Committee Executive Director Diann Payne stepped up to that line.  She used some funding from America’s Promise Alliance, given to her after Hurricane Katrina, to contract with Paige Roberts and Karen Sock to coordinate the two-day career expo that would soon become Pathways2Possibilities: P2P. Paige and Karen developed an expanded version of the expo they visited and project managed all components of the two-day career expo.

Every November

P2P debuted on November 13-14, 2013, covering the 133,000 square foot convention floor with 19 Pathways offering activities for 6,000 8th graders, followed by few dozen opportunity youth, ages 16-24.  P2P has shown how powerful an effort can be when the public, private and nonprofit sectors join forces in the name of education, workforce development and economic development.

Outcomes and Impact

In 2015, researchers from the Dr. Maxine Harper Center for Educational Research and Evaluation at the University of Mississippi began a study of short- and long-term outcomes and the impact of P2P on students, families, educators, employers and communities.