A group of 120 Fresno youths started six-week internships on Monday with goals of gaining real-world work experience, career development skills and – best of all – paychecks.
The Boys & Girls Club Summer Jobs Program typically provides 100 low-income youths with paid summer internships and this year was able to add 20 more spots through a partnership with the city of Fresno.
“We’re so grateful to be able to give these low-income kids a chance like this,” said Kate Henry, Boys & Girls Club of Fresno project manager. “When you teach someone to look after themselves, it’s a big life lesson.”
The program starts with springtime training to build resumes and practice interviewing. The Boys & Girls Club then holds a large interviewing event where about 200 youths interview for the internships. With the extra funding from the city of Fresno, Henry said more 15- to 18-year-olds were able to get jobs.
Aside from career development, wages and professional work clothes, the teens also get an opportunity for mentorship, Henry said. The internships continue through the end of July, and there will be a graduation ceremony on Aug. 5 to celebrate the teens’ accomplishments.
Since 2012, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. has partnered with the Boys & Girls Club in Fresno to provide career training and summer jobs. The program has grown to accommodate more Valley teens and spread to Bakersfield and Sacramento.
The extra funding from the city of Fresno will provide $30,000 to split among the 20 additional summer interns, according to a city news release.
“They started their internships on Monday, and they’ll earn about $1,500 by the end of it,” Henry said. “They come out self-confident and ready to work.”