5 Lifelong Takeaways from TeenQuest

A teenage girl wearing a red long sleeve shirt and with long brown multi-braided hair talks to a another person blurred in the foregroup wearing a white long sleeve shirt
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For the past 15 years, TeenQuest – a pre-employment training program facilitated by Flint & Genesee Education & Talent – has been teaching young people in Flint & Genesee the skills they need to earn and keep a job. Over those years, more than 8,000 individuals have graduated from the program, many of whom are well into their professional careers.

“It is great to hear from our graduates and find out that TeenQuest is still helping them today,” says James Avery, director of Talent Development for Flint & Genesee Education & Talent. “The program teaches students key skills they can take with them into any career.”

Here are five skills that TeenQuest alum continue to use every day:

Showing Up for Yourself

“(TeenQuest) taught me responsibility and how to show up for myself professionally. Our facilitator, Mr. Richardson, always gave me advice. He’d say, ‘You’re a hard worker but you have to keep that motivation.’ That has always stuck with me.” – Jalondria Dhrubo

Business Etiquette

“Thinking back, (TeenQuest) laid a solid foundation for me professionally. It built a foundation that many minorities can’t afford. There is etiquette now that comes naturally to me. I feel privileged that I can be a role model for young professionals that look like me, from my community, and that came from TeenQuest.” – Jerimiah White


“Before (TeenQuest), I didn’t have experience in leading, but the program really instilled that in me. I’ve used these skills throughout my employment and education journey.” – Tara Simpson


“(I learned the) importance of collaboration. In high school, I did not like team projects because there was always one person who didn’t seem like they were doing their part. But later, I realized no matter how fast or slow someone is working, we are all a team. It is incredibly important that we are all on the same page and understand that we all need each other to reach the common goal.” – Dondré Young

Goal Setting

“Our facilitator, Mr. Hatcher, (explained) how important it was to set goals. He explained that many people have a plan, but they don’t have a way to get to the end goal. He showed us how to develop steps to get to that end goal.” – Maxwell Montney

TeenQuest and Summer Youth Initiative are made possible through the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.