Monday, November 2, 2009

The Importance of a Summer Job

In workforce development, we tend to talk about the success of our programs in terms of volume of people served using big numbers and statistics. In doing this, we sometimes lose sight of the impact on individuals. We received a wonderful note last week from a College and Career Coordinator at Beaverton High School that reminded all of us here at Worksystems of why we love our work.

"I've been working with a student who struggled in school, got involved with the wrong crowd, had family income issues, etc....His overall GPA for the first three years of high school was under 2.0. Last summer, when the stimulus package offered jobs for low-income youths, we took a chance and recommended him to the program.
In September, first thing, he came flying into my office to tell me how great his job was. He showed up, worked hard, made "lots of money," he told me. He was able to help his family and gain back some much-needed self-esteem. Last spring, he was a kid who looked down when he talked to me. This year, he's come to college visits, and, though he knows he will have to attend community college first after graduation, he has his eyes set on a four-year-college degree and a career. In his first progress report, he told me, his course average was 3.5!! I think the Youth SummerWorks program really helped this kid turn his life around, see a brighter future and feel confident about what he has to contribute -- also the benefits of hard work. I can't thank you enough for taking a chance on him and finding him a job."

Thanks to Beaverton High School for sharing this inspirational story with us. Go Beavers!

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