Every summer, Flint & Genesee Education & Talent’s Summer Youth Initiative (SYI) program provides teens the opportunity to get a sense of what life after high school could be like.
Through SYI, students that have completed TeenQuest, a pre-employment program, are able to apply to work for local organizations during the summer. Along with providing a temporary source of income, summer employment provides teens with experience working, gives them confidence, and builds skills that will help them for the rest of their lives.
For organizations like the Flint Children’s Museum, which has been involved in the program for eight years, these young people are integral to the work they do.
“Our SYI (students) like to go around and engage with the kids at the exhibits and the children,” says Jacky Metcalfe, visitor services manager at the Flint Children’s Museum. “Because the SYI (students) are younger, they can relate to them more and feel more comfortable approaching them and playing with them.”
SYI not only helps employers find seasonal staff, but it also gives students an important opportunity to maintain a job while school is out of session.
“The really great thing about SYI is the ability for these students to get out into real-world settings,” says James Avery, director of talent development for the Flint & Genesee Education & Talent. “Students learn what it takes to not just be a good employee but a better person so that when they enter the workforce, they are head and shoulders above other young people that are just learning the ropes.”
With summer fast approaching employers are already lining up to become part of this year’s SYI. The following businesses are taking part in the 2023 program.
Registration is currently open for the 2023 Summer Youth Initiative program. Teens must have successfully completed the TeenQuest pre-employment leadership training. They must be between 14 and 19 years old and currently be in grades 9-12 and reside and attend school in Genesee County (public, private, charter, alternative, or home).
Teens must complete and submit their applications on their own and submit online. Teens must have a current address, phone number, and email on record to receive the application. To update personal information, visit EducateFlintandGenesee.org/summer-youth-initiative.
TeenQuest and Summer Youth Initiative are made possible through the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.