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Youth Empowerment through Mentorship: Voices from the Program

Workforce initiatives are quite successful, because they help kids learn more about the world around them. They also prepare kids through working on career readiness skills, such as leadership, and prioritization. They create young leaders who are willing to take responsibility and help others. Ivana says, "It was cool seeing and working with new technology; it was my first time working with this type of technology and, it was a pleasant experience." She is talking about the AR technology that Rob showed the kids at Chambers Elementary School. All of the kids who worked with Rob seemed pleased with his demonstration and the technology.

Another guest speaker was the MASS Design Group, who taught the kids about Sojourner Truth, and the various ways to preserve the environment. Ivana also says, "Overall, I had an enjoyable time. I liked how included we were, and everyone was really nice." The effort of inclusion is what makes kids thrive. The simple act of making space for these kids created the opportunity for them to be interested in what the MASS Design Group had to say.

Courtney also taught the kids about the environment as well, specifically about soil. They got to learn about different kinds of soil, and how plants are either acidic or alkaline. Additionally, Courtney did some hands-on experiments with them, like finding worms and other bugs, and learning if they were good for the soil or not. Ivana said, "Something that I learned about myself was that I like to build things, I find it interesting." In the end, all of these guest speakers and mentors helped open the kids' minds to new careers. They helped with learning new skills that the kids will hopefully use in the future.

Ultimately, these skills will help teens to learn more about how to most effectively and efficiently work together. Communication, understanding and collaboration all begin with wanting to learn. The desire to learn more about the world is what draws these kids to these workforce initiatives. Through learning more about the world, youth will become empowered to make the world a better place.

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