Get a head start on your next summer job

Summer plans may not be the first thing on your mind as you ring in the new year, but it’s never too early to start planning for a summer job.  

“Many students already have jobs lined up before the start of summer,” says James Avery, director of Talent Development for Flint & Genesee Education & Talent. “If you wait until summer comes to start looking, you’re already too late.” 

Luckily, for students in Genesee County, there are programs available to help connect teens to local employers. One of those programs is Summer Youth Initiative (SYI). 

Coordinated through Flint & Genesee Education & Talent, SYI is a summer employment program that connects teens to more than two dozen local nonprofit and for-profit employers. At the SYI Job Fair in May, students have the opportunity to interview with these employers and land themselves a summer job. However, that isn’t where it starts. 

To be eligible for SYI, students must complete TeenQuest, a pre-employment and leadership training program offered at local high schools and community organizations. TeenQuest helps prepare students for the job world and gives them the tools they need to not only land a job but thrive on the job.  

“Through the TeenQuest program, our students are taught important skills such as communication, problem-solving, conflict management, and professionalism,” says Avery. “Each year, our employer partners are impressed with the caliber of students that interview at our SYI Job Fair and are happy to work with these students through the summer.” 

Genesee County students between the ages of 14-19 in grades 9-12 are eligible to attend TeenQuest at any site. The third session of TeenQuest starts Jan. 22 at Atherton High School, Grand Blanc High School, Hamady High School, and virtually.  

For those who are unable to take TeenQuest in the next session can catch the last session before the SYI Job Fair starting in March 2024.  

For more information on TeenQuest and SYI and to apply for an upcoming session, visit