Workforce Success Story Submitted By:
Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board
How do youth find a career that they love and value without hands-on experience? High school student Shamira Goldsboro-Turnipseed said, “It’s one thing to learn a lot. It’s another thing to learn a lot that you can actually go out into the real world and use.”
Shamira got her first job this summer. An 11th grade student at Martin Luther King High School, she worked at MEE Productions through WorkReady Philadelphia. Way to Work funding greatly expanded the number of opportunities available for youth through the WorkReady Philadelphia system of programs. At MEE Productions, Shamira was a part of a team that went out to communities across the city to enlighten residents on topics including education, student financial aid, nutrition and sexual health. The team engaged individuals in conversations about these subjects and distributed issue-related literature. To prepare for the weekly outreach activities, Shamira participated in workshops where she was trained on each topic. She worked with her team members to develop strategies for effectively communicating the information while out in the community.
Outcomes & Benefits
Shamira notes that her work experience has influenced the type of student she wants to be. “This job really made me want to go back to school in September and put my all into it. You can’t be lazy here at work, so now I don’t want to be lazy in school.” The workshop sessions served to not only prime her for outreach duties, but to solidify her post-secondary plans. “Before I worked here, I really didn’t know what financial aid was. Working here made me want to go to college more.” She is also confident that the communication and persuasive skills she developed will prove to be valuable when she achieves her goal of becoming a lawyer. Although the program is over, it is left an indelible mark on Shamira’s life. Not only has her focus sharpened, but traveling throughout the city and witnessing community needs first-hand has motivated her to explore ways that she can initiate change. She realizes that the knowledge she gained during the program has empowered her. What matters to me is that once this summer over, I won’t just forget about it. I can act on it and I can make a difference.”