On the Job: Dawn Ratliff


TeenQuest graduate Dawn Ratliff is motivated to achieve her goals and won’t settle for anything less. A graduate of Baker College with a Bachelor of Arts in business management, she is currently working toward her dream career.

“After college, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do,” says Ratliff. “But after some digging, I found a position at a small local company. It was something I wanted, and I didn’t settle for anything else.”

Ratliff is currently working as a plant administrative assistant for a local manufacturing company, Zander Colloids. She is hoping she can transition into human resources at her current employer.

“I have previous experience in human resources,” says Ratliff. “Right now, I am proving the knowledge I have in the field and making sure the company knows my goals as it grows.”

Ratliff credits her drive and positivity to her time in TeenQuest. Find out what this Carman Park Baker Career Academy graduate learned through the pre-employment program to make her successful.

How did the lessons learned in TeenQuest help you on your journey?

When I started TeenQuest, I didn’t have great communications skills. TeenQuest taught me to open up a lot and communicate effectively.

What skills did you use from TeenQuest when interviewing for your current position?

How to maintain positivity. We were taught about how to turn negatives into positives.

What is your favorite memory from TeenQuest?

One thing I liked the most was how close we all were. No one in our session was afraid to say what they felt. If something didn’t seem right, it was always called out – and then turned into a joke!

What advice would you offer current TeenQuest students?

Even if the program doesn’t seem like something you want to spend your afternoon doing, stick with it. If you do, you’re more likely to see success than other people.

What has been your proudest moment since TeenQuest?

Nailing down a job, starting my family and not having to worry about my job security. I am happy to have the knowledge that if something doesn’t work out, I can always take a chance and move to something new.

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