On the Job: Juanita Jamerson

Juanita Jamerson

Juanita Jamerson has been on a full-circle journey to her position as program coordinator for the Genesee County Parks & Recreation. She got her first job working for the parks when she was 17 years old through Summer Youth Initiative.

“I’ve always known that I wanted to work within Natural Resources,” says Jamerson. “SYI gave me the opportunities to obtain skills and experiences which helped me decide exactly what I wanted to do with my future.”

Now, the TeenQuest graduate is working there again after some time away while she pursues a degree in forestry and Spanish linguistics, currently enrolled at Mott Community College.

In her new position, Jamerson helps Nancy Edwards, who is the recreation programs and grants officer and director of Keep Genesee County Beautiful for the Genesee County Parks & Recreation, with connecting parks with the community through a variety of programs that aim to revive local neighborhoods.

“Prior to reconnecting with Nancy Edwards I worked in a nursing facility,” says Jamerson. “She had a position available and I loved working under her in the past, it was a no-brainer to come back.”

In the future, Jamerson plans to work in conservation which she has been able to do some of in her current position through projects such as setting up mini monarch waste stations.

How do you plan to pursue your future career?

I am hoping to make networking connections that will help me with my long-term career goals.

How did TeenQuest help you on the path to your position?

TeenQuest focuses on helping you get and keep a job. They give you a lot of tools to help you through the process and those tools carry through to your employment and help you be the best employee you could possibly be.

What is your favorite memory from your time in TeenQuest & SYI?

One of my favorite things was working through SYI at Bluebell Beach. We had the opportunity to use the trail system to take kids to Stepping Stone Falls and show them something they have never seen before. They spent the day catching frogs and butterflies, it was amazing.

What advice would you offer current TeenQuest students?

Pay attention. It seems like just a fun afterschool activity that will help you get a summer job, but you will use the skills way after the SYI program is over.

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