When he was 16 years old, Simon Lalone decided to attend TeenQuest at Grand Blanc High School because he wanted to find a job – which he did. Lalone worked at Arby’s for two years throughout the rest of high school, but once he got into college, he wanted to find something more.
“My first semester, I didn’t know what I wanted to pursue in college,” says Lalone. “I ended up taking a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) course. It was a two-week course and the last week we did a clinical, where we worked with actual patients. I did my clinical at Mission Point of Clarkston and enjoyed the work there.”
After the experience, Lalone applied for a position at Mission Point and was offered a job working as a CNA. Now, he is working while pursuing a career in nursing.
“I am currently finishing my pre-requisites for the nursing program at Mott Community College,” says Lalone. “I am about halfway done and then I can apply to the nursing program.”
As he continues to pursue his goals, Lalone knows the lessons learned in TeenQuest have helped him on his journey.
What skills did you use from TeenQuest when interviewing for this position?
Using your experience to your advantage and showing how what you’ve done at previous jobs can translate to the job you’re interviewing for. For example, when I was interviewing for my current job, I shared how I had experience working in a fast-paced environment.
What is a favorite memory from TeenQuest?
I liked when we sorted food at the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan for our volunteer day. It was rewarding to be able to do that work.
What advice would you offer current TeenQuest students?
Take it seriously and focus on the interviewing and resume skills, but have fun with it, too!
What has been your proudest moment since graduating TeenQuest?
Going through college during the pandemic. College is a lot different than high school, and I didn’t get to have a slow start. I was thrown into it with online classes. But I have a 4.0, and I am very proud of my grades.
TeenQuest and Summer Youth Initiative are made possible through the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.