Workforce Success Story Submitted By:
Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board
When she was 15 years old, Philadelphia resident Doreen Nyarko, along with a group of other students, got called down to her school library over the loudspeaker. What awaited her there were forms for in-school youth employment, funded through the Workforce Investment Act. After completing the forms, Doreen started working for an hour a day after school at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, or CHOP, in their human resources department. Like so many youth struggling to find a career path that was exciting, she discovered that while she loved the organization, she wasn't fond of the paperwork. So the following summer, when they offered her continued employment in the same department, she asked if she could try working in a different area of the hospital and was placed in the radiology department.
After working for the summer in radiology, she transferred to the biomedical engineering department. Here, she was responsible for cataloguing medical equipment for the entire hospital and got exposure to its different departments and functions. She also had the opportunity to work directly with patients. According to Doreen, "I discovered I liked talking with patients and helping them out." Following her work experiences at CHOP, and after talking with her mentors and her teachers, Doreen decided to pursue a nursing degree.
Outcomes & Benefits
Doreen is now a junior at Temple University. She credits the employment opportunities, as well as the work readiness preparation included in the in-school youth program, for helping her determine her career path. Doreen says she would tell other youth to "take the opportunities that come to you." Taking her own advice, she is applying for other work experiences with CHOP in 2010 and is hoping to get full-time employment with the hospital once she graduates.