2018 Summer Youth Employment Program Recognition Luncheon
On Wednesday, August 9th, 2018 46 students graduated from our Youth Summer Employment Program (YSEP). We celebrated at the Wakonda Club, to award our students with a certificate and to celebrate their achievements.
YSEP provides subsidized employment opportunities for low-income high school-age youth each year. We provide eight weeks of paid part-time (20-30 hours) work experience at non-profit and public agencies throughout the Des Moines metro in conjunction with job skills workshops, career exploration, and development opportunities.
Our students come away learning the direct link between academic achievement and future career aspirations, the necessary skills needed to find and keep a job, and the value of giving back to their community through service learning projects.
Scroll below to read stories from a couple of our students who had the chance to participate this year in YSEP.
Thanks to all the business/ companies who allowed our students the opportunity to learn and work with them.
To learn more about YSEP or how to get involved, please contact the youth department director, Vernon Johnson, at 515.244.7702 ext. 139, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Sauda A. Abdullahi — Youth Department Administration
- Idriss Abdullahi — Adult & Family Services
- Nasro A. Ahmed — BE REAL Academy
- Yahia A. Ali –OASIS Variety Center
- Jayda Allen — Iowa Department of Human Rights
- Teddy Barnaba– OASIS Variety Center
- Noordin Bille– OASIS Variety Center
- Nyawiech Billio– Des Moines Parks and Rec
- Arianna Brooks– Youth Conservation Corp
- Jordan Colbert– Youth Special Projects
- Macky J. Doctor– OASIS Variety Center
- Ikra Farah– OASIS Edmunds Elementary
- Amran Farah– Youth Department Administration
- Emmanuel Glahn– OASIS Edmunds Elementary
- Sofia A. Hassan– OASIS Edmunds Elementary
- Abdifatah Hassan– Play City and Wading Pool
- Gerald James– Play City and Wading Pool
- Jotha Jang– BE REAL Academy
- Nyadeul Jieng– Des Moines Parks and Rec
- Prince Jelleh– Play City and Wading Pool
- Baxtyr Johnson– Youth Special Projects
- Aroda L. Kalifa– Play City and Wading Pool
- Tekeze Kalifa– Hy- Vee Food Stores
- Simone Kapayou– OASIS Variety Center
- Freweini G. Kawaja– Oasis Edmunds Elementary
- Abino Khalifa– OASIS Variety Center
- Madam B. Kuany– OASIS Variety Center
- Kierra Lewis– Development and Communications
- Nydek Lock– OASIS Edmunds Elementary
- Muhumure Nzabakiza– Play City and Wading Pool
- Bonke Nganire– OASIS Variety Center
- Prince V. Nyaen– BE REAL Academy
- Prince B. Nyaen– BE REAL Academy
- Gentile Nyamadolari– Play City and Wading Pool
- Ayor M. Nyariel– BE REAL Academy
- Lidia Oule– Jewels Academy
- Antonio M. Oule– Adult and Family Services
- Lily J. Overstreet– Des Moines Social Club
- Levo Rekyte– City of Des Moines PIO
- Jaylnn Roberts- Lewis– OASIS Edmunds Elementary
- Nama Snduk– OASIS Variety Center
- Azaree S. Shakshak– BE REAL Academy
- Alex Shukuma– Smokey Row
- Kennedy Stone– OASIS Variety Center
- DaeVonna R. Strickland– John R. Grubb YMCA
- Zpierra M. Winters– BE REAL Academy.
Oakridge Neighborhood would like to thank the following organizations and programs that provided employment opportunities for the 2018 Summer Youth Employment Program:
- Iowa Department of Human Rights
- City of Des Moines Parks and Rec
- Hy-Vee Food Stores
- Des Moines Social Club
- City of Des Moines Public Information Office
- Smokey Row
- John R. Grubb YMCA
- Jewels Academy
- Hy-Vee Food Stores
- Youth Conservation Corp
- Oakridge Neighborhood Work Sites
Lilly & the Des Moines Social Club
Every summer Oakridge Neighborhood provides employment opportunities for low-income high schoolers, including ten weeks of paid, part-time experience at nonprofit and public agencies. The Youth Summer Employment Program (YSEP) has immediate benefits- staying busy and earning a paycheck- but countless long-term benefits as well: YSEP participants know the value of work, the value of giving back to the community and how academic achievement is essential to one’s career goals. This summer we decided to hear back from some of the participants and see what they learned throughout the summer and how they have benefited from the program.
“I spent the summer working as an intern at the Des Moines Social Club under the direction of Brand Watkins, their Director of Development. The first day I remember feeling a combination of nervousness, anxiety, and excitement, mainly because this was my first job! From that first day forward, I learned how to do a variety of tasks, such as: working with spreadsheets, researching marketing information, proofreading pamphlets, filing, and even painting.
Coming into the Des Moines Social Club without any previous job experience, I expected to discover and learn how to develop work skills, as well as hot to handle particular information. For example, I have learned how to successfully and proficiently conduct research on surrounding organizations situated in Des Moines, how to nearly organize information, so it’s accessible and useful, and how to efficiently and professionally set-up workspaces for incoming guests and performance groups. However, although I learned several valuable skills that will help me in the future at other jobs, I also indirectly absorbed other important social and life lessons. For instance, I learned what to do and how to handle situations when clients or guests approached me with question or concerns. I also learned how to be socially respectful and believe appropriately in an office setting with coworkers and supervisors; and maybe most importantly, I grasped how vital it is to always have a positive attitude with everyone–both in and out the office.
Working at the Des Moines Social Club has prepared me for future employment and career opportunities. Now, I can converse with strangers and coworkers in a professional manner while maintaining eye contact the entire time! Plus, I gained experience with various technology tools that companies currently use, as well as a new sense of appreciation for the arts and how they truly impact the Des Moines community. Leaving the Social Club will be sad, but I will be able to leave with a fresh perspective and a better sense of how non-profit organizations operate and thrive.
I want to thank Oakridge for giving me the opportunity to work with such amazing people at the DMSC in the heart of Des Moines. Oakridge not only gave me an opportunity to earn my first real paycheck this summer, but they also gave me the chance to discover what kind of career I might want to pursue in the future. Thanks, Oakridge, for allowing me to embark upon this astounding journey with a talented group of helpful individuals to help me along the way.”
Levo & the City of Des Moines Public Information Office
Every summer Oakridge Neighborhood provides employment opportunities for low-income high schoolers, including 10 weeks of paid, part-time experience at nonprofit and public agencies. The Youth Summer Employment Program (YSEP) has immediate benefits- staying busy and earning a paycheck- but countless long-term benefits as well: YSEP participants know the value of work, the value of giving back to the community and how academic achievement is important to one’s career goals. This summer we decided to hear back from some of the participants and see what they learned throughout the summer and how they have benefited from the program.
“This summer I had the opportunity of working for the City of Des Moines, in their communications office. I had the chance to learn first hand what communications is all about. For example, I learned the customer the City of Des Moines is trying to reach is us! I learned the best way for us to communicate with the people of Des Moines is to get them more involved in what’s going on. I learned the city offers many resources such as:
- City Source– The City of Des Moines’ quarterly Newsletter
- DMTV 7- The City of Des Moines’ cable channel
- And so much more!
I also learned the importance of teamwork. For the communications office to run smoothly, we must connect with the other offices such as parks & recreation, Public works, housing services, and much more. We are the voice for all the other offices.
This position has prepared me for the future because I had the chance to work with teams and learned how to be a good team player. Lastly, I also had the chance to further my public speaking and communicate my thoughts better.
I appreciate Oakridge for giving me this opportunity. Letting me experience the business world and how it works, I truly enjoyed it. It was nice to learn a lot from them. I would also like to thank the City of Des Moines. Having an internship at my age doesn’t happen very often which is why I am forever grateful. I will take this internship as the shaping of the beginning of my career.”