The room was packed. Overflowing, actually. At our first Youth Career Connections Internship Culmination held on August 4th, Orange County United Way and Garden Grove Unified School District celebrated 35 high school juniors slash summer interns, their families and guests at the closing of this year’s Youth Career Connections summer internship program.
Many smiles, cheers and awards were visible in the room as GGUSD staff, United Way corporate partners, and the Mayor of Garden Grove, Steve Jones, recognized the hard work put in by participants. Through this partnership, Orange County United Way was able to provide one-of-a-kind student internship opportunities to 35 rising juniors throughout the district.
There is a dire need in our schools of making connections between employers & students. Thanks United Way for taking the lead. —Steve Jones, Garden Grove Mayor
The Youth Career Connections summer internship program is a triple win-win for students, teachers and employers…
- Students get outside the comfort zone of the classroom for an eyes-wide-open perspective on the inner workings of the business world.
- For teachers, it’s a great way to ‘show-not-tell’ their students what’s important in preparing them for the future workforce.
- And it’s good for employers to recruit from a local talent pipeline, increase employee morale, and enhance their company’s stewardship and brand visibility in our local community.
A lot of kids would be pressured to work at a fast food restaurant to help their families this summer. With United Way providing scholarships, it gives students a more college and career focus. —Myra Clark, GGUSD Director of Career Technical Education/ROP
The Youth Career Connections Internships for Students
As Orange County United Way’s work-based learning initiative, the Youth Career Connections program offers high school students a workplace insider’s view where students can enhance their technical, critical thinking, and communication skills. Internships are aligned to the student’s Career Technical Education pathway interest, spending four weeks over the summer learning from real professionals at their respective sites.
By linking students directly to future employers, Youth Career Connections ignites classroom learning with career possibilities and a support network to prepare students for 21st century careers.
It was a really good program. I’m more prepared for college now as well my next job. I’ve been getting hands-on experience that prepared me, and the support from United Way and teachers gave me consistent motivation to continue working hard. —BaoVan, SM&A Intern
This internship taught me valuable skills that will benefit me for the real world; it allows me to see growth in myself physically and mentally. —Yolanda R., Los Amigos High School
Bringing experiential learning to and extending student career exploration beyond the classroom helps put students on a path toward academic and economic success. And that’s something worth cheering about!
These students performed at such a high caliber. I would take them back if they ever want to work here again. —Ann Johnston, Psomas
See photos from the 2017 Youth Career Connections Internship Culmination.