This summer, during the WorkReady program, PYN offered a job shadowing opportunity on two separate dates in July for the Career Exposure program. This program serves rising 8th graders as a part of WorkReady’s menu of programs. PYN volunteered to host these opportunities after hearing from career exposure providers that a need for this age group was to find professional environments that would offer a comprehensive, serious job shadowing opportunity for 8th grade youth.
During these dates, more than 60 young people from two separate providers, District 1199c and Congreso de Latinos Unidos, visited PYN’s office. District 1199c’s career exposure group has been focused on the many different careers within the health and wellness sector, while Congreso de Latinos Unidos youth are exploring different jobs that are both directly and indirectly related to science.
Both groups learned about the nonprofit sector, PYN’s work and heard some of our executive team’s personal stories and advice. Additionally, each youth shadowed our own staff for an hour of their workday. Staff from several different departments volunteered to give youth a diverse perspective about different career pathways in the nonprofit sector, including finance, programs, employment partnerships, compliance and operations, information systems, and development. Youth were able to prioritize their interest and be paired up with a staffer from a department in which they were interested in learning more about. Staff brought the 8th grade youth to meetings, showed them how to perform tasks, and showed off our server room! The young people even got to participate in an office scavenger hunt that allowed them to interact with more staff and get a better sense of how PYN runs as an office.
When we asked a few youth about what they learned that will help them in the future, some responses were: people can collaborate to make big changes, I should do what I love, and I should constantly try new things.
Overall, youth and staff were able to have genuine exchanges about professional and personal development, which opened the minds of these 8th graders to new possibilities. PYN staff loved hosting the youth and was reminded of the inspiration behind our work, which is what keeps us coming back day after day!
About Megan Briggs:
Megan Briggs is a nonprofit program administration professional, with more than a decade of experience in several youth-focused nonprofits around Philadelphia. She has been working as a project manager in PYN’s Strategy and Integration department since January 2014, managing parts of WorkReady summer each year.