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The Impact of Volunteering

Seventeen graduates of Career Essentials (formerly the Pre-Internship Program) participated in our Bridge To Work Program during its second summer.  This eight-week program gave our budding workers opportunities to gain experience in the world of work through volunteer projects that are coordinated  in partnership with New York Cares.  This summer students visited four nonprofit organizations:

  • The Boys and Girls Harbor provides education and enrichment activities for underprivileged youth.  Each Bridge To Work volunteer read a book about Peruvian musical instruments to a 1st grader and then made rainsticks with the children.
  • Cabrini Eldercare Adult Day Center is a nursing and rehabilitation center for seniors where our students helped seniors with painting and art projects.

Bridge to Work participant Nykiera McLean and Cabrini Eldercare resident.

  • Rivington House Healthcare, an HIV/AIDS healthcare facility, provides clinical services for patients. Student volunteers painted small flower pots and planted flowers with their patients.

Bridge to Work participants Nykiera McLean, Angelia Lin, Genesis Torres and Corey Llewellyn, with Rivington House patient. 

  • Room to Grow provides donated children's items to needy families. Students worked on their organizational and teambuilding skills as they sorted the donated baby clothes and toys.

Career exploration is always a highlight.  The Bridge To Work students went on a field trip to Junior Achievement where they learned about the various career opportunities in a nonprofit organization. Students met with several Junior Achievement professionals, from the President to the Facilities Manager, who each spoke about their professional and college backgrounds. They also practiced group interviews with Junior Achievement employees putting the skills they learned in Career Essentials to use.

At the close of the program, the Bridge To Work students agreed their experience was extremely positive. They learned  about patience, how to work in a team, how to be more empathetic toward others in need and how to take initiative; they continued to improve their interpersonal, organization and communication skills.  All were glad to have increased their awareness of community issues and that their resumes and college applications are now enhanced.  Most importantly, the lessons gained from their Bridge To Work experiences will continue to be valuable in both school and work.

For more information about the Bridge to Work program, contact Stefanie Jones at sjones@futuresandoptions.org or 212-601-0002.

© 2020 Futures and Options. All Rights Reserved.
Futures and Options is a nonprofit career development and paid internship program for New York City youth.

120 Broadway, Suite 1019. New York, NY 10271. 212-601-0002. info@futuresandoptions.org