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We Do It for the Interns

There are two parts to the Summer Youth Employment Program. The first is based on the concept of getting teens involved in an organization that is in line with their future career goals. We do this through the personal statement of their applications, where we ask them to define what their career goals are, and what they hope to learn about outsider of those goals. When placement time comes around, we do our best to both recruit host sites that align with the majority of our interns goals, as well as place those interns with those sites. If their primary choice is not logistically possible, which unfortunately happens, we work with their secondary goals. Our ultimate goal here is to expose the interns to their desired future. Not only will it count as useful experience on a resume and in conversation with future employers, it will also give the interns a better idea of what it takes to make their dreams a reality.

The second part of the program is Personal and Professional Development. Every Wednesday, the interns gather to meet with each other, the SYEP staff, and local organizations or speakers to learn about various life skills. These topics range from acceptable practices on the job site to fiscal responsibility and money management. Speakers range from recruiters from various possible future careers such as the Army, to the Winston-Salem Young Professionals, sharing stories about life outside of school. While we try our best to place interns where they see themselves in the future, we also like them to know their other options, as well as to hear the various unexpected paths that the lives of currently successful young adults have taken.
Below is a statement from one of our SYEP interns, whose goals include going to college for Psychology and Law, and whose other interests range from becoming a registered nurse to working with technology:
   “My name is Brittany and this is my first year in the Winston-Salem Urban League Summer Youth Employment Program. I was supposed to join last year but things didn’t go as planned, and I was so disappointed but eager to join this year.

So far I’ve learned a lot from being in the program, especially during the Wednesday trainings. The program is teaching me how to be more appreciative of what I have now as a teen, and I realize that once I get older, I have to work hard to be successful. The training has showed me to think before I spend my earnings.
    Legal Aid downtown is really the best job I’ve ever had and I’m really looking forward to working on site as a volunteer, even when the Summer Youth Employment Program  is over. I would like to pursue a career as an attorney when I graduate.  This opportunity has allowed a chance  to see a glimpse into my future as an attorney.
    The Staff over this program have been the best to us. They really care about our futures. My future is bright and I say look out world, here comes Attorney Shuff! Thank you Urban League for this amazing opportunity.”
          -Brittany S.
We are grateful for all of our amazing interns, and we hope that all are as happy with their placements as Brittany is!
Kendra Callwood