03/14/2011 08:55 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Glee's Iqbal Theba Shines Light on Need for Career Counseling, Skill Building

"I'm stuck with construction," he thought before finding acting.

What do I want to be when I grow up? It's a question we have all asked ourselves.

In fact, many are still asking that question at age 50, even 60, therapists have told me.

This week, Iqbal Theba -- Principal Figgins on the hit TV show, Glee -- announced that he was among them.

"I wish I had known my options," said Theba. "I wish someone had guided me."

"I spent four years at a school of architecture doing something I knew I didn't want to do," he shares in an video interview. "And once I graduated, I realized: 'Oh no, I'm stuck with it.'"

When you hear a celeb sharing that, it makes you think: Why didn't someone tell him his options? We spend thousands of dollars on college, and yet we fail to make a small investment that will help guide our young people toward their own path for success in college, career and life.


That is why Theba decided to join SuperFutures. By bringing new career and college planning programs at a fraction of the price of traditional independent advisers, he hopes others can avoid similar career-choosing struggles.

Currently, only 40 percent of U.S. college students graduate in four years (CollegeBoard) and 79 percent of parents report that their teen's successful transition to the real world is a top concern (SuperFutures).

Getting behind issues and causes isn't new for celebrities, but this comes at a critical time. The world is now a more complex place with globalization, technological advances, and a restructured economy. You don't have to look far to see new grads living with Mom and Dad because they can't get a job.

America's future depends upon preparing our youth for these challenges. Obama's top initiative is now "Winning the Future." Innovation, job creation and keeping America competitive all start with preparing our young people for new careers, and arming them with those critical thinking and other skills essential to our success.


"Administrators like Principal Figgins are forced to struggle with the question of how to balance shrinking budgets with investments in programs that enable his students to pursue their passions," said Theba. "The reality is that McKinley students are luckier than most. But we can make a difference."