In March 2016, the Young Adult Learning Center launched the Seeds for Success work-learn program. Seeds for Success participants engage in a part-time internship with the Department of Public Works Grounds Maintenance Department while attending GED classes at the YALC. This partnership between Maya Angelou Young Adult Learning Center, Department of Public Works, and the Department of Employment Services provides participating youth with an opportunity to gain valuable personal and professional skills– putting them on a pathway to success.
The purpose of the program structure is to allow students to continue their education while gaining employment experience. Participants completed three weeks of pre-internship training facilitated by the Young Adult Learning Center. This training included a range of topics such as integrity and ethics in the workplace, time management, stress and conflict management, creating a positive first impression, and professional communication. In addition, students received specialized training from Washington Parks and People in the area of landscaping and grounds maintenance allowing them to become more familiar with the work and tools needed to be successful during their internships. Upon successful completion of training, 27 students transitioned into a nine-month paid internship with the Department of Public Works, where they are working alongside grounds maintenance staff completing city beautification projects. At the end of their internship, students will be eligible to apply for more permanent employment with DPW. This opportunity has not only provided students with the ability to earn income, it has renewed their motivation in completing their education. As one student put it, “this is the opportunity I have been waiting for. I know that I will do all that I can to be successful inside and outside the classroom.”
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