Career Skill-building Goes Virtual with WorkForce 2000 and the Youth Mentoring Program

Our youth programs have helped thousands of students reach their academic goals and explore their career interests, and have given them a behind-the-scenes look at a variety of jobs in the healthcare industry. But what do you do when face-to-face learning is not an option? Go online!

Last summer, 223 teens participated in the WorkForce 2000 (WF2) summer professional development program. Students logged into Zoom for interactive sessions that focused on college prep and remote coursework assistance. Twenty students participated in WF2’s Pre-RN Program, which allows students to explore careers in nursing, with a curriculum geared toward students’ acceptance into nursing school. The Pre-RN students stepped up to revamp their final projects on midwifery to accommodate virtual programming due to the pandemic.

The Youth Mentoring Program (YMP) also launched a four-week remote learning experience during the summer. Instead of an in-person internship at the hospital or nursing home where their parents work, YMP students dived into a virtual development program that taught them about financial literacy and time management, along with skills to help them build resumes and professional portfolios of work. The course ran in conjunction with WF2, and a combined 250 teens collaborated during the joint venture.

Between the two programs, students created 17 live videos, which included interviews with first responders (as public service announcements about their COVID-19 experiences), along with relevant information and tips for virus prevention.

The programs held a virtual closing ceremony on July 30 to showcase finished projects and to award certificates to participants. Bridging the two programs helped students feel more connected in the world of virtual learning, while ensuring they continued to receive professional development skills to support their plans for the future.