It has been a lively few months here at ECS. We welcomed new participants and even got to call a handful of them colleagues.
From May through August, 130 aspirational high schoolers in Philadelphia were paired with paid summer internships, as ECS is a provider of the city-wide initiative, WorkReady.
For 20 hours a week, interns were placed at such sites as local nonprofits (including us!), small businesses, restaurants, museums, and summer camps to gain experience in project coordination, office management, research, urban gardening, community outreach, and marketing and social media. Most importantly, these positions provided interns the setting to practice their skills, build their resumes, and get a taste of the professional world.
Once a week, interns also met at ECS for professional development trainings, covering such topics as appropriate business attire, conflict resolution, time management, and teamwork skills.
Throughout the work-weeks and in trainings, one teen, Nydirah, stood out above the rest. After a call for submissions went out to all WorkReady supervisors, a panel of staff judges determined that Nydirah, an intern with the Out of School Time at Anderson Elementary, would take home the Employee of the Summer MVP Award.
“All of the youth interns were great, but Nydirah is a very hardworking young lady who comes to work on time or stays after she gets done just because she wants to help,” said Rayshell Callender, program coordinator and Nydirah’s supervisor. “She always has a positive attitude, [and you] can never tell if she is having a bad day.”
During her time with OST, Nydirah supported staff in organizing activities for the elementary students—her favorite being arts and crafts—while remaining professional, upbeat, and a positive role model.
“It is important [for] me to have a strong work ethic because young people will start to follow after me … I think it comes from my Mother because she always works hard in everything she does and raised me to be a hard worker as well,” Nydirah said.
Congratulations, Nydirah! And a fond farewell to all of the other hardworking WorkReady interns who have made this summer a memorable one. Don’t be strangers!