Train up a child in the way he should go,
Even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
Do you remember your first real job – the one that taught you to set your own alarm, punch a time clock and answer to someone other than your family? The Boys and Girls Country Apprentice Program is exactly like that! Every summer we offer our 15-year-old students a six-week on-campus job program designed to give them work experience and understand the expectations of a job in the community.
We kick the program off by hosting a job fair on campus where our students learn about all the different departments that keep BGC running. Kids follow through with a formal application and interview. Once they are hired, they are given an orientation and training, set work hours, receive a mid-program review, and learn some new skills.
The best thing of all is that our staff members get to work directly with our students and form even deeper bonds and relationships. We not only get to see the kids’ growth but reinforce the strength of their support system at BGC. The Apprentice Program helps them get a grasp of the entire employment process, from the job search to daily employment requirements like being punctual, requesting vacation days, maintaining acceptable job performance and more.
When we wrap up the six-week program, students submit a resignation letter and participate in an exit interview. They also learn to create résumés and describe job skills and experiences to help them apply for their next employment opportunity. “This is a great setting for them to understand the chain of command and employer/employee relationships,” says Director of Operations Quintes Stark, who oversees the apprentices. Students earn the privilege of working off-campus in the community the following summer after they complete the program.
“The apprentice program is an opportunity for us to develop ourselves in a professional environment before going outside of Boys and Girls Country and getting a job with strangers. The staff members that I work with make me feel comfortable to ask questions and be curious how an office environment works, and I feel confident after learning something new which is awesome.” –Mekdelawyt
“It’s pretty fun actually, I didn’t think it would be at first. The program itself is awesome because we’re improving our life skills and learning how to do things one on one with people who care about us. It’s a great experience and I feel lucky to be able to participate in it.”- Estifanos
“The program is amazing. I’m apprenticing as a mechanic and even though it’s hot and the work is hard I look forward to it. I feel comfortable and safe apprenticing under the BGC staff and excited about the things I’m learning.” –DeRussell
The BGC Apprentice Program is a treat for our staff, whose hearts are ultimately devoted to our children, and enjoy the opportunity to train them personally. We’ve had such an incredible summer, but the school year is approaching fast! If you’re interested in donating, visit our website and make sure to follow us on our social media sites for daily doses of our kiddos!