Goodwill’s Oakwood Career Services team has had a long-standing relationship with the Lanier College Career Academy (LCCA). Surveys of LCCA students have revealed that the ability to work on campus is very important due to transportation issues. As LCCA Executive Director Rhonda Samples shared, the internship opportunities provided by Goodwill’s Youth Employment Services (YES) program are a blessing for these students.

LCCA’s student-based enterprises provide job skills, including critical soft skills, and career exploration. Students learn what types of jobs will be good fits for their interests and personalities.  The work experience can provide a career jump start, and the valuable ability to explore alternatives. In 2019, five deserving students were afforded internship opportunities and worked a total of 932 hours from July 1 – December 31.

C3 Navigator Sherry Burns, who was responsible for identifying youth who might be interested in the YES program, was excited to learn of the potential for students being able to participate in internships while in school. She shares,“When I read the program details, I immediately thought of students at LCCA, as they could really benefit from earning money while keeping their focus on their academics. YES’ enabling these young people to begin the realization of their dreams was phenomenal and I know that the students’ lives have been positively impacted because of this experience.”

Meet Josue Frayle

Josue Frayle is interested in construction, specifically carpentry. He gets satisfaction when building projects come to a conclusion – he likes seeing things built.

Josue has a reputation for being a bit of a jokester and enjoys a good laugh. During the internship, however, he learned that playing around in the shop or on the job site could cause injury, so it is important to take a safe approach. He also learned how to stay on task and be ready to adapt to changes.  Josue shares, “Case Manager Alex Balla kept me in check with safety protocols – and he just cared.

Josue completed 233 hours during the internship and upon its conclusion, he began learning HVAC through a dual enrollment program.

Meet Joana Hilario

Joana Hilario is quiet and shy. During the internship, she was placed in the gift shop, where the heavy interaction with the public proved challenging for her. In Joana’s case the internship experience was very valuable, as it helped her to determine that she prefers a role behind-the-scenes. After completing 161 hours, Joana consulted with Ms. Guy, and a position in the design lab has been planned for spring semester.

Though she will ultimately be more comfortable in a position that isn’t public-facing, Joana said that the challenge of learning to speak in public helped her to grow and that she is becoming less shy. When asked if there was an aspect of the internship that she didn’t care for – she quickly smiled and said, speaking. It was her most and least favorite part of the experience.

Meet Carlos Pool

As the 2019-2020 school year began, LCCA’s culinary program caught the attention of Carlos Pool. Carlos says the most important aspect of the internship has been learning teamwork. The kitchen at The Bistro is a busy place, but he likes being there — and even enjoys doing dishes. The fast pace makes the time fly by and if there’s a bit of downtime, there’s still plenty of organizing that takes place, as the kitchen runs best when things are in order. Carlos’ time in the culinary program and the 238 hours he worked during the internship have confirmed his desire to be a chef.

Ms. Guy shares that Carlos has distinguished himself as a leader and frequently helps other students. He will continue pursuing the culinary program at LCCA and will soon be dual-enrolled at Lanier Technical College.