Cut off from traditional internship and summer job opportunities due to the pandemic, Washtenaw County teens and young adults still had the chance to develop their future career prospects thanks to a new virtual mentoring program launched by SummerWorks in the summer of 2020.
For 30-60 minutes a week over the course of the summer, more than 80 mentors connected virtually with SummerWorks participants to talk about everything from career pathways to civic engagement, professional networking, and how to thrive in the workplace. Local businesses and organizations also hosted 12 virtual internships.
Looking ahead to this summer, SummerWorks staff want to expand the mentorship program and recruit at least 100 University of Michigan mentors so each young person age 16 to 24 involved in the summer youth employment program can have a mentor.
The mentorship component was a welcome addition for Dora James, a high school senior from Ypsilanti who returned for her second year with SummerWorks.
“I was talking with my Success Coach about how perfect our mentors were,” said James, who hoped to gain more experience in psychology as she ultimately wants to become a psychologist. “It’s like magic. How did they know exactly what we wanted? And that’s how personalized the entire experience is. They make sure each and every one of us has what we need to move forward.”
To read more via the University Record, click here.
By Zoë Erb
March 16, 2021