By Bernetta Williams
North Light Community Center WorkReady Specialist
This summer the Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN) continues to fund the Summer Career Exploration Program, at North Light Community Center located in Manayunk, as a part of the citywide WorkReady summer jobs. Through our teen program we serve 40-80 students through this program. After students attended a session at Villanova University, they spend the day touring and interacting with staff and students at the college. Students participated in a virtual job fair at Community College of Philadelphia and explored job announcements of partnered businesses/industries from across the city. This year one student, Taylor Collins, stood out as a phenomenal participant. Childcare was not her first choice of industries, however, she’s a natural. Taylor has a large family with younger siblings, and she express this summer experience taught her how to handle children safely.
Taylor Collins breaks the mold and has demonstrated unbelievable enthusiasm with an ambitious personality while in this program. Taylor is a rising high school junior attending Mastery Simon Gratz in the Hunting Park section of Philadelphia. Taylor has a work ethic that any employer would want at their business. Before working with North Light Community Center, Taylor traveled two hours to and from Sesame Place to earn money for her college education. Taylor aspires to become a pediatric surgeon to bring empathy and comfort to the family during a traumatic time. Taylor goes above and beyond to get the job done. She arrives at North Light for weekly professional development workshops early and eager to engage in helpful dialogue to determine the impact of the internship. Her attitude to be able to help others shines at her internship at Four Seasons Childcare & Preschool in Manayunk. She is comfortable reflecting on her work experience with staff or students in the program because she feels this opportunity is necessary. Taylor has demonstrated leadership, interpersonal communication and critical thinking skills.
Her positive attitude and excellent work ethics shines. As her WorkReady specialist, I have seen Taylor set outstanding goals for herself. When Taylor started this program I asked her what did she want to do and she said to become a surgical doctor. “Taylor is an outstanding worker. We can’t get enough of Taylor, we want her to come back to work with us,” says Lauren Trimbur, Director of the Four Seasons and Taylor’s supervisor. Other teachers at Four Seasons stated, “Taylor has consistently gone above and beyond, often working in multiple classrooms and volunteering hours to assist children at the camp.” One of the goals of the summer program is to help students explore their possible future careers and solidify their interests, while also undergoing professional development training such as workplace etiquette and interview training. Taylor is one of 38 students participating in this year’s program. For Taylor, “Being in WorkReady has enabled me to receive the support needed to accomplishment my future goal to attend Harvard University.”
Congratulations to Taylor for earning the inaugural “Inspiring Star Intern” Award!