Flushing High School Graduate Quanhyia Wade is in her first year as a nursing student at Mott Community College. But as she works on schooling, Wade is also working at Berston Field House through the Chosen Few Arts Council as an aide – a job that developed out of a position she took through Summer Youth Initiative last summer.
“About a month ago, my supervisor at Berston called me and asked if I was available to work the day school program,” says Wade. “I was looking for employment, so I said yes. I just needed to reschedule some of my courses at college.”
Now, Wade works with students during the day, helping with breakfast, directing students in between programs and making sure they follow social distancing and mask guidelines.
“I am kind of like the big sister helping them keep on top of things,” says Wade. “I come up with art projects for kids and help with their schoolwork – we work closely with any kids that need help.”
Wade, who also worked at the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan and Asbury Methodist Church through SYI, credits her time at TeenQuest for her success.
What did you learn through TeenQuest/SYI that you use in your current position?
Teamwork for sure – learning how to talk to my coworkers. Also, I learned to not be afraid to ask questions when I don’t know something.
What skills did you use from TeenQuest that helped you interview for your position?
In TeenQuest, they told us that if we have questions during an interview, to make sure we ask them. My interview was over the phone and the first question that came to me was to ask what measures they had in place due to the pandemic. They worked with me, answered my questions and made me feel more secure.
What advice would you offer current TeenQuest students?
Don’t be afraid to talk to your peers. They can give you some of the best advice. Don’t be afraid to talk to your boss when you don’t understand something. And don’t be afraid to try new things. New opportunities are out there.
What are your plans for the future?
When I graduated from high school, I had plans to go to Saginaw Valley State University. However, I got a scholarship to Mott that paid for my first two years. So, my plan is to complete my two years at Mott and then transfer to Saginaw to finish my degree.
What has been your proudest moment since graduating TeenQuest?
When I worked through SYI, I saved all the money I made during the summer. My senior year, I had saved enough to buy my first car with my own money.
TeenQuest and Summer Youth Initiative are made possible through the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.