A Student’s Perspective: What I Learned in TeenQuest

Each year, hundreds of Genesee County teens learn important life and work skills through the TeenQuest pre-employment program.

Recently, one of those students, Arcadien White, asked TeenQuest Facilitator James Washington to stop by Atlantis Alternative High School because he had something to give him. When Washington arrived, White handed him a letter.

Here’s what the TeenQuest graduate had to say:

What I learned in TeenQuest:

  • How to fill out an application
  • How to properly shake someone’s hand
  • How to make good eye contact
  • More about the business world then I had hoped to learn
  • How to properly introduce myself
  • How to create a resume
  • How long it takes to make a first impression on an interviewer
  • How to nail an interview
  • To use ONLY a black or blue pen when filling out an application
  • That it is not about who you know, it is about what you know
  • You could be on a plane to Cali for an interview and be back before school is out
  • About the Summer Youth Initiative program
  • That there are more jobs available for teenagers than I imagined

Hey, Mr. Washington,

I wanted to say thank you for everything you have taught me over the past couple weeks.

When I first started TeenQuest, I honestly didn’t think I was going to complete it. But, boy I was wrong. This program is without a doubt the best choice I have ever made. I found out that I had skills that I didn’t even know about! This is coming from an Atlantis student. A student from a school where no one outside of the TeenQuest program sees potential from.  A school where people assume all the bad kids go to.

During the graduation ceremony, there may have only been four people from our site, but we still went out there and did what we had to do, didn’t we? Numbers mean nothing when you have confidence and a reason to do what you do.

I know this isn’t a required paper, but I am writing it regardless. You opened my eyes to a whole new world full of opportunities.

One day, I want to become a veterinarian and when I do, I will remember where I came from and how I got to where I am.

So once again, thank you for helping me get into the right state of mind and putting me on the right path for a successful future.

“Smart Warriors: If you believe it, you can achieve it.”

To learn more about TeenQuest, visit www.flintandgenesee.org/teenquest.

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

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