In addition to the many service projects they complete, our afterschool students are also offered many opportunities to get work experience in the public service sector through buildOn internships. Many of our students explore their hidden talents through these temporary placements in the workforce. This summer, program coordinator Naima Dawson arranged many internships for her students, and below she updates us on the inspiring results!
In this year’s Summer Internship Program in Chicago, a total of 27 students committed 1510.40 service hours!
Students interned at a wide variety of locations, including local youth centers, humane organizations, and a Chinese-American coalition. Many worked well past 8 hours a day, with some putting in as many as 11. They did this not because they were forced to but because of their personal commitment to their internship schedule.[pullquote]I was amazed by how our students individually put in some long daily hours.[/pullquote]
The work site facilitators were in total awe of our buildOn students’ overall dedication to service. Facilitators were most impressed with how students not once complained about working under the summer’s grueling heat wave, as many of the jobs took place outdoors or required students to travel. Even I was amazed by how our students individually put in some long daily hours. This further strengthens my belief that the city of Chicago does not have enough community youth centers.
For some students, interning was a life altering experience. Juvenal Jaimes, a recent graduate of buildOn, left his internship with knowledge and motivation he can use in his freshman year at college. I purposefully placed Juvenal Jaimes at Compass Public Affairs, a public service and government marketing firm, because of his charisma and desire to change the world around him.
When I personally went to check in on Juvenal at his worksite, I had a long meeting with both him and his supervisor, James Robinson to talk about his work performance. Mr. Robinson spoke highly of Juvenal and admired his commitment to learning. Mr. Robinson couldn’t believe how dedicated Juvenal quickly became to his job duties, stating, “this kid is a machine, he goes above and beyond his hours”. He explained how Juvenal was always thirty minutes early to work and worked well within their professional environment of attorneys and politicians, including aldremans, senators, and our state governor Pat Quinn.[pullquote]The worksite was so impressed with Juvenal that they are bringing him back in soon to work on various major political projects.[/pullquote]
Through this internship, Juvenal was able to experience a professional environment in Chicago’s Downtown business community. He explained that it resolved one of his many curiosities about working in the fast pace of today’s industry. The worksite was so impressed with Juvenal that they are bringing him back in soon to work on various major political projects; they even are committed to helping him finding permanent work once he is ready.
I had a great summer working each student. It was truly a blast and I’m so proud of how hard they worked. They did a phenomenal job!