Over the past month, youth in our Ready, Set, Connect! program met with over 25 mentors from Bluewolf Consulting and Google in San Francisco. These visits served as a capstone to our 12-week program in the Oakland Public Library.
The youths’ first stop was at Bluewolf Consulting. There a team of employees from across the organization led workshops on interviewing techniques, building a personal brand, and using elevator pitches to help with networking. The youth also met one-on-one with mentors for help with creating their resumes and polishing their job interview skills. Calvin Nguyen said this about his trip to Blue Wolf:
I appreciated the opportunity to help practice giving an elevator pitch when networking. My mentor’s example of a simple, yet informative pitch made it easier to have a feel for the best way to make my own pitch. [It’s] what sets me differently than from a person who doesn’t give one.
Ready, Set, Connect! star volunteer and mentor Danielle Bowers organized a visit to Google’s San Francisco office. The afternoon featured a panel of Googlers who fielded the youth’s questions about how to get a job at Google and what makes a “dream” job. Later, the mentors sat down with the youth to give feedback on their resumes and final projects for the Ready, Set, Connect! Wrap Party on June 20. The Google visit made a huge impact on the youth. Jennifer Colleo said, “I am happy with all of the great advice from the Google staff. I feel that I learned a lot from them.” Darius Henson also praised the Googlers: “I was introduced to various Google employees who shared so much helpful information that I will carry with me for years to come.”
IMPACT ON MENTORS
The benefits of these visits didn’t end with the youth. Many companies are increasingly turning to skills-based volunteering and mentoring to build teamwork and foster employee engagement. Mentors from both companies mentioned that their involvement in the Ready, Set, Connect! visits helped build their internal networks. They also appreciated the opportunity to leverage their professional skills to help the community. This kind of community involvement doesn’t just boost morale; it’s also good for the bottom line. As Bluewolf blogger Angie DeWitt notes in her blog:
The impact? All youths received one-on-one mentorship, gained valuable career advice, and made connections with professionals across multiple departments. In return, the Bluewolf team gained the opportunity to work with the local community and potential recruits.
SUPPORT READY, SET, CONNECT!
If you would like to support CTN’s work with youth in the Ready, Set, Connect! Program, Follow this link and donate $30 (or what you can) to power our fundraising goal of $5,000, which will support youth stipends. If you’d like to learn more about the Ready, Set, Connect! Program, please contact Kerri Shannon, Ready, Set, Connect! Program Manager.