Pilot Project Of GYA Works Celebrates Teens’ Achievements

GYA Works CompletionThe pilot project and first cohort of GYA Works finished in the first week of September 2015. GYA Works ‘In Housekeeping’ was designed to give youth practical work experience, workplace mentoring and classroom education in career success and personal finance.

Two youth were offered the chance to have gainful employment during July and August 2015. Both were provided with uniforms and training in cleaning and workplace expectations. They were given transportation to and from the job site and supervision and workplace mentoring while on site. Skills in the work experience portion focused on attention to detail, time management and taking direction from a supervisor.

The classroom sessions used curriculum in partnership with Junior Achievement of Hampton Roads. Career Success and Personal Finance were the best options to pair with the work experience portion of the GYA works program. The feedback regarding the curriculum portion showed that both youth felt that Career Success was very useful (10/10). For one young person, the classroom portion was her favorite part of the entire GYA Works program.

The final day of the program included a special congratulatory luncheon at Catch 31 in Virginia Beach as well as a new outfit for interviewing. Board member Tammy Bunch of Bunch Real Estate participated in the lunch program. Due to a bereavement in the family one member of GYA Works was only able to attend the classroom portion of the day and not the full celebration. In February, GYA Works will host a reunion of all GYA Works participants including a tax preparation session to round out their education and experience.

What the teens had to say about GYA Works:

“It was helpful. It teaches a lot.”

“You have to pay very close attention to detail and keep a steady pace.”

Overall it was very successful. We achieved  a 100% participation rate, a 100% classroom program achievement rate and a 50% work experience achievement rate. The next step will be to use the feedback from the youth as well as lessons learned by the GYA Works team to improve the program and prepare it for a full launch in early 2016.