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My CareerONE Experience (First Job)

Well, the time has finally come. CareerONE ended last Thursday (July 25th). It was a pleasure to be apart of a group of like-minded youth, aiming for the same goal, success. I am proud to proclaim that I have completed CareerONE at 100% and earned a full stipend of $1,020. What is CareerONE you may ask? It is a summer program for youth aged 14 to 17, which provides and trains teens with the necessary skills employers look for, as well as life skills. Some of these include FDIC Money Smart, Youth@Work Talking Safety, ACT KeyTrain, a program that helps students to not regress during the summer months, and other necessary skills such as following a dress code, showing up on time, being respectful, being productive, and producing quality work. Most importantly, how to write a resume, fill out a job application, and how to interview properly. Thanks to CentraCare Health, approximately 120 youth were able to experience a mock interview with positive feedback and minor critiquing, so that they are prepared for their future endeavors. How do teens earn money in this environment? It’s quite simple, actually. We were assessed twice daily, in the morning and afternoon, earning a total of $17 in three categories: Attendance, Punctuality and Dress Code; Cooperation, Safety, and Team Work; Work Quality and Work Quantity. Every youth has the opportunity to earn up to $51 per day or $17 in each category. It honestly is quite easy to earn, just follow directions, respect your coworkers, respect your team leader (your boss), and your youth mentors. Most importantly, don’t forget to give your full 100. You’ll do just fine. Remember, it’s ok to make mistakes in this environment. Everyone is there to build you up, not bring you down. To further explain what CareerONE is, I was neither in the healthcare track, nor the construction/manufacturing track, but rather in the general program. The general program consisted of mulching and pulling weeds around CentraCare campuses, completing and making progress in KeyTrain, working on our resumes, team building activities at the YMCA, almost every day, if not every other day, as well as outdoor activities and games whilst doing stipends, and also multiple talks by people from SCTCC, talks from army recruiters, and a plethora of other activities to keep us occupied. To say the least, there was never a non-busy moment at CareerONE. We had a lot to do on our schedule. CareerONE taught me some very essential life and work skills, and I am sad that it is already over. From the first week to do the July 5th extra $51, all the way to the last week, it has truly been a journey. I could not have done it without Lisa Brown, the program supervisor. Mandy, Team 8 Leader, and Amy, Team 7 Leader, as well as Amira and Sumeyo, youth mentors. My biggest piece of advice to any teen at a job is to use effective communication skills, and bring to work with you, a positive attitude. And remember, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. After all, we are all human.


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