7 Reasons CareerBridge Makes Summer Count
By Eric Steckel
For most students, the end of summer marks the beginning of a new school year. For CareerBridge students, it also marks the end of a summer internship. To celebrate, we host a special event where the students present their final project to family, friends, internship supervisors, and Children Rising staff.
CareerBridge interns, family, and staff celebrate another year of summer internships.
This year’s group of interns worked very hard to prepare for their summer positions. They also learned a lot about themselves, what opportunities they have to pursue a meaningful career, and what they can do to achieve their dream job. I was able to speak with many of them, and like any good blog, I’ve come up with a Top 7 list of reasons CareerBridge makes summer count.
“CareerBridge exposes you to different options. It lets you see the different work environments that you can do like engineering, science, technology, math, education, child development.” Corey Reeves, CareerBridge Intern
1. Change your outlook. So many students come to CareerBridge unsure of their future career prospects. Sadly, many feel that they should settle for an unfulfilling, low-paying job. Jordan White, one of our Eddie College Scholarship winners, told us that, “When you get a boost of confidence and you have a plan, and you have the right guidance, that just helps you to flourish. And that’s exactly what CareerBridge has done for me.”
Jordan White says that CareerBridge can help you gain a whole new outlook on achieving a fulfilling career.
2. Try new things. Most youth come to CareerBridge never having held a job, let alone a position at organizations like CALTRANS and BART. The internship alone is a new experience. More than that, they are exposed to career options they may never have considered or knew existed. Corey Reeves, who spent time with CALTRANS engineers said, “Career Bridge really helps you understand that even if you have a certain passion, it exposes you to different options. It lets you see the different work environments that you can do like engineering, science, technology, math, education, child development. I always thought that I was just going to be a doctor all my life. But now I know that there’s tons of different opportunities that you could do. Which is why I want to become an engineer.”
CareerBridge let Corey Reeves try new things. The result? Now he wants to pursue a career in engineering.
3. Giving back to their community. Amanda Farmer has been with CareerBridge for four years. Her internship opportunities have been with CALTRANS and with Children Rising tutoring programs. When I asked her why she continues, even after completing high school, she was quick with an answer: “It went further than me just interning to me wanting to be a person that can give back to the youth. I see how great the program is, and how it affects the lives of teenagers and college students.” This sentiment was shared by nearly all the students with whom I spoke. Ziyen Verrett, a first year CareerBridge student, said, “I learned more about my community, and how important the community is to one person, really everyone.”
Amanda Farmer introduces a video she made highlighting “A day in the life at CALTRANS.” Amanda hopes to one day use her experience to give back to the community.
4. Work with others. Teamwork is crucial in any work environment. CareerBridge internships are designed to encourage teamwork and develop the skills to work alongside a partner. Ziyen said, “I learned how to work with others. I worked with David, and we had to work together to solve a problem, and to build a bookshelf together.” Axel Osorio echoed that sentiment. Working alongside his partner Manny, they were assigned filing projects to complete together, on deadline. “Teamwork helped us in getting the work done. We would have boxes to file, and Manny and I would just have to work together to finish it.”
“In the college system, it’s important that you have internships. It’s important that you have experience, and it’s important that you have extracurricular activities.” – Amanda Farmer, CareerBridge Intern
5. It’s important experience. CareerBridge offers real work experience most of the students we serve would never have available to them. Amanda Farmer: “I would just say it’s a great experience, and I would encourage parents to put their youth in the program. I think for underprivileged communities, we are always taught that is always about grades, but in the college system, it’s important that you have internships. It’s important that you have experience, and it’s important that you have extracurricular activities. It affects them so much when they can go through a program and they can get work experience, but they can also put that on their college application, because it’s all about the end game.”
CareerBridge internships come with a paid stipend. For many students like Danya, this is the first time they’ve made money for their work.
6. Don’t be a couch potato. For many students, summer is a time to kick back and relax. Not so for CareerBridge students, who frequently leave the house at 6:30 am to make it to their internship. Corey Reeves laughed when asked what he would have done this summer if not for his internship, “I would probably be doing nothing, just staying at home. So I’m really grateful because I really like to do stuff during summer. I didn’t really have much to do so it really kept me busy and I really was grateful for it.” Ziyen? “Be a couch potato. Do nothing. I would have gone out, probably back-to-school shopping, play video games, that’s it.” Instead he gained valuable experience and made summer count.
Ziyen Verrett celebrates with his mom and aunt. For interns like Ziyen, getting out of the house, gaining experience, and getting paid make summer count.
7. Get Paid! It’s important to note that our internships come with a paid stipend. For many students, this is the first time they’ve made money for their work. It’s rewarding to be compensated for your effort. Danya Sharma gushed as she explained, “This organization is the best, because they gave me the best experience, and allowed me to get paid, and provided food, the Bart Pass and everything. So it was like, I got experience. I got the money. It was like a job.”
If you want to give the hope of a fulfilling career to an extraordianry youth, please consider hosting an intern or being a career mentor next summer. There is no better way to give back to your community!
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