On Friday, July 8, students, teachers, mentors and staff gathered at the Bank of America Conference Center to kick off the CTE Summer Scholars Program. Having just completed their first week of work at their internship sites, students were primed to meet their mentors who they would be working with on the classroom component also known as the “Youth Think Tank.”
The goal of this year’s curriculum is to strategize ways to increase youth employment and develop methods to overcome some of the challenges the youth of today face in entering the workforce. Jeff Barker, New York President for Bank of America, opened up the day’s activities. He spoke about his own unique experiences as a youth entering the workforce and offered some valuable advice for our scholars, many of whom were experiencing their first “job” through this program. Students also heard from Randolph Peers, CEO of Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow, a nonprofit whose mission is to help disadvantaged youth and adults advance towards self-sufficiency and financial security through job training, academic reinforcement, and various support services.
As the seminar progressed, students learned from staff at Tata Consultancy Services about the process of “design thinking.” The day’s activities led up to a panel of the program’s mentors who after taking questions from our scholars, broke out and met with their respective school groups. Students were clearly excited to begin engaging their mentors and sharing ideas about their plans for their culminating project.
Our scholars enter their third week of the program on July 18 and we will be tracking their progress- meeting with them and their supervisors at their worksites. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for an inside look into their experiences.