Build Skills that will Last a Lifetime

A TeenQuest student participates in an activity during the program.
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During their teenage years, students attend school to learn many different skills they will need for the future. This can include mathematics, science, writing and technology, to name a few. But what about the skills that aren’t taught in a classroom?

“When students are focused on their studies, there is little time to teach other valuable skills that they might need to succeed in the future,” says James Avery, director of talent development for Flint & Genesee Education & Talent. “Many jobs are looking for employees who possess strong soft skills and these skills can help students inside and out of the workplace.”

Soft skills include leadership, effective communication, dependability, conflict resolution and problem-solving. And these skills are very important to students’ future success.

Leveraging data from over 82 million employer job listings, America Succeeds, a nonprofit committed to improving equity, access, and opportunity in education, found that soft skills were requested in more than two-thirds of those studied.

One way teens can learn these soft skills is by participating in TeenQuest, a pre-employment training program through Flint & Genesee Education & Talent. The training program teaches students skills such as communication, workplace ethics, character development, managing change, conflict resolution, teamwork and setting goals. It also helps students prepare a resume and learn how to properly interview for a job. The program culminates with mock interviews with local business leaders and employers.

TeenQuest is open to students between the ages of 14-19 and currently in grades 9-12 in Genesee County. The next session of TeenQuest starts February 21 at Carman-Ainsworth High School, Grand Blanc High School, Swartz Creek High School and New Standard Academy.

For more information and to sign up, visit

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