Chase Marsh says she is grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in the Virginia Beach City Public Schools STEM Program. She stated that she has never been interested in math and science, but thanks to this program, she has a new-found appreciation for these subjects. Not only has it opened her eyes to various STEM-related fields, it has also provided Chase with multiple scholarship opportunities. Chase has been accepted into Virginia Wesleyan College and has been rewarded a $12,000 scholarship based on her academic excellence. Chase says that this program has taught her to manage her time more effectively which will help her succeed when she enters college in the fall.
Michiyia Edney was first introduced to the Youth Career Center of Hampton Roads in 2012 as a freshman at Bayside High School. Through the YCCHR summer immersion sessions and web series, Michiyia developed her interests in cosmetology, community service, and leadership, and later became a Peer Council Member. The Youth Career Center assisted Michiyia throughout her time at Bayside — helping with homework assignments, college and scholarship applications, and employment. With the assistance of the YCCHR, she landed her first job as a cashier at Farm Fresh.
A 2016 graduate of Bayside, Michiyia received her diploma along with a license in cosmetology. She will begin her new journey as a student at Hampton University where she will pursue a degree in Business Administration.
Christina Felder has epitomized the phrase, ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.’ In addition to the Youth Career Center of Hampton Roads’ core programming, local youth are able to participate in their free tutoring program. Christina came into the Center for assistance in math and science. After working with past staff member, Ebonie Couther, Christina improved a full letter grade, earning a B average in Algebra I. This accomplishment influenced additional academic success. Due to her increased level of confidence and ability, Christina received numerous recommendations to be placed in advanced science classes for the 2011-2012 school year.
When asked about her experience, she described the staff as, “cool people and Ms. Ebonie is a great tutor who has a lot of patience.” Christina also advised youth to visit the YCCHR right away so they can be successful too. The Center staff congratulates her on a job well done.
Sometimes you must experience a major event to get your life on the right path. For 19-year-old DeJuan Morris, it was the news that he was going to become a father. DeJuan visited the Youth Career Center of Hampton Roads for job search assistance. He had recently earned his GED, and was looking for a position he could excel in. After mock interviewing and creating a resume at the Center, he landed a sales position at a local heating and air conditioning company. DeJuan couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity. “I feel better knowing I can now provide for my child and have a job I love.”
Kristopher Atterbury spotted the Youth Career Center while shopping in Pembroke Mall one day. He thought the center was just for middle and high school students, and therefore would not help him, a sophomore in college. After walking in and asking about the center’s services, Kristopher learned that it serves anyone ages 14 to 21 whether they are in middle school, high school, college or no school at all. That was music to his ears.
“I was coming up on my junior year in college and I knew I needed to land an internship quickly to gain experience,” says Kristopher, a Virginia Beach native who attends the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
Jaedda Hall, the center’s career coach offered him assistance with résumé writing and researching and contacting local companies for internship opportunities. “Internships are a must in today’s economy,” says Jaedda. “College graduates with paid or unpaid internships on their résumé have a much better chance at landing a full-time position upon graduation.”
After applying and interviewing for several positions, he landed a fellowship with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee as a campaign assistant. In this role, he worked with a local congressional campaign team to help organize activities in the community — definitely a plus on this political science student’s résumé.
But, that wasn’t all. To supplement his income, Kristopher also needed a part-time summer position. He contacted the center again and found out that Ocean Breeze Waterpark was hiring. A couple of weeks later he had an interview, and was offered a part-time position as a bag checker.
“I probably would not have either one of these positions if it weren’t for the center helping me with my resume and giving me job search tips,” said Kristopher. “The staff is just so good at what they do, I’m thankful to have such a great resource.”
The Youth Career Center of Hampton Roads congratulates and recognizes Diamond Goodman as our first success story. After visiting the Center on a class field trip, Diamond returned to attend workshops and special events. Diamond described the Center as, “very informative, fun and it helped me develop many skills in my areas of weakness. The YCCHR staff helped me gain confidence in myself.”
Diamond increased her involvement by joining the Center’s group of student advisors, The Peer Council. The council is comprised of 12 youth who provide feedback and recommendations for Center events. Youth are able to earn community service hours and practical experiences for their participation in the program. Diamond was elected Peer Council Treasurer and plays an active role in the group’s fundraising efforts.
When asked about the Peer Council, Diamond said, “my experience with Peer Council is a wonderful adventure that I will never forget. It helps me to create the stepping stones to my life, Peer Council is awesome and I think all youth should come here and be a part of Peer Council.”
In addition to the guidance and confidence she has gained from this experience, her training also allowed her to secure a position at Chick-Fil-A.
As Diamond graduates high school and prepares to enter the next phase of her life, the YCCHR staff members are confident she will apply what she has learned and excel in all her pursuits.
Skylar Causey had been filling out application after application with no results. The 18-year-old visited the Youth Career Center of Hampton Roads to ask for guidance. The staff worked with her on mock interviewing, job searching and networking skills. Not too long after, Skylar landed her first job with Mamma Nina’s Pizza in Virginia Beach. In addition, she received help with her college applications and was accepted into Chowan University in North Carolina. Skylar recently checked in with the Center and reported that she has successfully completed her first semester of college.
Sallie Barnes, a former Pruden Center participant, knew that she wanted to attend college and become a nurse after graduating from high school. Thanks to her summer internship with Sentara Medical Center as an emergency room assistant, Sallie had the chance to see first –hand what a nursing career would be like, even before she opened her college textbooks. During her internship, she cleaned and prepared medical instruments, assisted with taking vitals and helped to document patient medical histories. Sallie appreciated the opportunity to network within her given career field and felt that was the biggest advantage to the program. She plans to continue in the field of medicine and has been accepted to the nursing program at Paul D. Camp Community College.
Student Sean Derby, a former Pruden Center participant, spent his summer learning about the operations of a utility that many people take for granted each day: electricity. During his internship at the Community Electric Cooperative, a non-profit rural electric utility headquartered in Windsor, Sean shadowed employees on site-visits to observe how they handled customer calls and power outages. He also assisted with creating an electronic library for the company’s files, so that they were easily accessible. Sean enjoyed his experience and plans to attend college to major in a technology field.
Eboni Perry, a former Pathways to Success participant, an aspiring physical therapist, had the chance to act as a “circuit coach” to teach and motivate people to reach their fitness goals during her internship at Curves. She also honed her customer service skills while assisting at the front desk and answering customer inquiries. Eboni was very pleased with her internship placement and hoped that it would be a potential part-time job for her during college.
Patrick Fletcher, a former Project Gear Up participant, kept busy this summer learning to run a retail gift shop at the Children’s Museum of Virginia. His daily tasks included answering phones, assisting customers with selections, handling cash transactions, and restocking supplies. In addition to the internship placement, Patrick also attended a week-long computer camp offered at the Attucks Theatre in Norfolk. He plans to study political science at Virginia Commonwealth University this fall.
Netesha Terry and Jenise Edmonds
Netesha Terry and Jenise Edmonds, former Project Gear Up participants, were both placed at the Phoebus House, a retirement community, as office assistants. Their responsibilities included assisting residents, answering phones inquiries, and filing important documents. The students said this internship was an exciting experience that they would have never had if they didn’t participate in the WIA program. Netesha, now a senior, hopes to participate in the program next summer before heading to college.
Fatima Murphy knew that finding a job would be a challenging task. Yet, she didn’t realize how the skills she learned at the Youth Career Center would make it easier. At 16, she was ready to work and she stumbled across the Center while window shopping in Pembroke Mall. After completing orientation, the staff helped her create a resume, practice her professional introduction and then assisted her with filling out a job application for the Virginia Beach Resort Hotel and Conference Center. A few weeks later, after following up with the manager, she was offered a position as a front desk sales associate.
Christopher Edwards was desperately looking for a way to better himself after high school. That’s when he came across a flyer about the Building Trades Academy Training Program. Since the beginning of the training, Christopher stood out as a stellar student quickly learning how to operate machinery and taking the initiative to help others. Not only was Christopher named Most Outstanding among his peers at graduation, he also landed a full time position with benefits at Lawson Realty. In his position he conducts facility maintenance at one of their properties. His advice for others: “Keep your eye on the gold and go for it.“
Molly Pemberton has always been an avid animal lover. So when she started interning at the Windsor Pet Hospital, a door to get closer to her dream job was opened. Molly was a part of Opportunity Inc.’s Workforce Investment Act Pruden Center program where students develop work skills and are placed in a paid job training experience. Due to her excellent work ethic, Molly was offered a permanent position as a veterinary assistant in August of 2012.
“I love my job, and I’m at an awesome place,” she says.
Tejana Wilson has been a part of the Youth Career Center of Hampton Roads ‘ Peer Council since it opened in 2010. Now, it’s paying off for the 18-year old senior at Princess Anne High School. She has been accepted into five colleges and landed jobs such as Sonic’s and Subway. “I contribute my success to the job etiquette and career exploration skills I learned at the Center,” Tejana says.
When Kiara Banks was growing up, people tried to derail her from being successful. They would tell her she wouldn’t go to college or she wouldn’t~ be able to find a good job. So, she decided to prove them and their negativity wrong.
“I took the challenge and it made me even more eager to reach my goals,” says Kiara now an 18-year-old biology and allied health student at Chowan University in North Carolina.
The positive vibe started when a friend told her about Opportunity Inc.’s youth programs. These programs provide work readiness training and subsidized work experiences for in-school youth in Chesapeake, Franklin, Norfolk, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth, Suffolk and Virginia Beach. For Kiara, this program taught her skills for the workforce that she otherwise would not have learned. “Opportunity Inc.’s program taught me a lot about how to survive in the business world. It taught me how and when to be professional, budget my money, and dress appropriately,” says Kiara. “The teacher actually helped me open my first savings account.”
After she graduated from the program, the aspiring nurse immediately landed a position in the medical field until it was time for her to attend college at Chowan. Today, she is a college freshman and plans to continue her education at Virginia Commonwealth University for biomedical engineering.“The program definitely helped me learn what I need to know to make it in the professional world,” says Kiara.