It was such a joy driving out to Grand Valley State University's campus and meeting Yibriam and Ashley, two friendly and hardworking individuals in the Hispanic Center of West Michigan's summer youth employment program. Bridget Salisz, Hispanic Center Youth Advocate, noted that it is hard to find a valuable first job experience without training, a good cover letter and other tricks of the trade. She is really excited about the positive first work experiences that the youth employees gain while avoiding summer learning loss. The work sites are so helpful and the skills learned through the program carry into the future. Read on to get to know two of the 80 youth participating in this program.
Meet Yibriam Hernandez
- Senior at Wyoming High School
- Works front desk at GVSU's Facilities Planning and Services building
- Favorite part of the job: The atmosphere, help from college students, being on college campus
- Hardest part: Staying awake when things are slow!
- Career goal: Interested in being a Physician Assistant, but still exploring his options
- Yibriam's tips: Have confidence, head up! Don’t be shy; ask questions. Always be helpful. Be outgoing and outstanding.
Meet Ashley Soto
- Junior at Godwin Heights
- Office assistant at GVSU's Facilities Planning and Services building
- Tasks of the job: Alphabetize, set up van rentals, do projects around campus
- Favorite part: Being thought of and treated as a mature young adult
- Career goal: Architect - she was inspired by downtown GR!
- Ashley's tips: Introduce yourself; carry yourself in a mature way. If you need help, ask questions! When you finish a task, go ahead and start on something else without waiting to be told.