The following post was authored by Gloria Oluseye-Are, one of our amazing summer interns that helped facilitate the Youth Enhancement Summer Program.

Eight high school students walked into DirectEmployers Association Monday, July 23rd at a time considered deathly early by most of their peers. Their individual expressions reflected the awe and uncertainty of the experience they were about to embark on. These students had just arrived for the first Youth Enhancement Summer Program (YESP) coordinated by DirectEmployers Association in support of the Summer Jobs+ initiative. The raving reviews from students and parents alike solidified the program as a huge success. Calah Isaac, one of the attending students commented, “I liked this program because we got to learn a lot about business, time management and how to prioritize. We learned how to team build by working with a group of people to accomplish something.”

As an intern, the program introduced me to eight students from various backgrounds yet unique potential which was continuously highlighted in the activities of the summer program and from interacting with them. The opportunity to mentor and learn from each one of them was a humbling experience; an opportunity which would be near impossible without the summer program. The dedication and commitment the students brought with them each day of the program was refreshing to observe. There was a noticeable difference as the program came near to the end; the timid students became more confident before my very eyes. There were more questions directed at their various presenters whose answers were written down with excellent penmanship. The students even walked into the offices of various staff for brief conversations and advice on career paths. The summer program was designed to nurture these students; however its success is as a result of the students’ dedication to learn all they could from the experience.

For more information on the Youth Enhancement Summer Program, view the DirectEmployers press release.

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