August 2021 NewsWIB
Jobs for Grad’s (JCG)
Summer Work Experience Opportunity (SWEO) Program
This year, 31 youth participated in the 8-week Summer Work Experience Opportunity (SWEO) program that was a combination of in-person, blended and virtual experiences, funded by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the SWORWIB, Hamilton Co. Jobs and Family Services and a Citi Foundation grant. The youth worked over 4,600 hours and served as a vehicle for introducing students to an actual workplace environment, responsibilities, and the comradery necessary for goal achievement in their specific job assignments. It also provided exposure to occupational areas of interest and the opportunities to learn transferable skills.

The SWEO program was specifically designed to increase career awareness and to position these young adults to make informed career choices. The interns participated in Friday Reflections each week, conducted by JCG Staff and business partners covering topics that included: Goal Setting (Deloitte), Healthy Habits (Healthy Visions), Financial Literacy (LendKey), Human Resources (Mercy Health), OMJ Center Services, and Entrepreneurship (G.C.M.I.), culminating with an end of program celebration and luncheon on July 30th at the Mayerson Academy for all of the interns, site partners, JCG Staff and Administration. Jack Geiger, CYC Board Chair, gave the Welcome address and Opening remarks, followed by a viewing of the SWEO video and intern testimonials from Dalya Hernandez (Western Hills University), Mohamed Camara (Aiken New Tech) and Virgil Amison (Hughes STEM).  
At the conclusion of the SWEO Program, when JCG-CYC youth were asked “How did the SWEO program prepare you for the World of Work?”, here are some of their responses:
  • “I learned how to present myself professional.”
  •  “The SWEO program prepared me for the workforce because it gave me valuable experience.”
  •  “It changed my career interest.”
  • “To keep chasing my dreams and don’t let my artistic talent go to waste.”
  • “It gave me a new set of skills that I can continue to improve on.”
  •  “Work hard now and in the future, it will pay off.”
  •  “It gave me a different mindset and made me think differently.”
  •  “It forced me to get out of my comfort zone.”
  • “How to network and why it’s important.” 
First Row, left to right: Jeremy Beckerich, Kroger; Jonelle Zachery, Healthy Visions; Kyle Cadena, Music Resource Center. Second Row, left to right: Lindzie Gunnels, Gunnels Realty; Angela Corkhill, Kroger (HR); Sarah Veness, Cincinnati Cooks; Latonia Jackson, Healthy Visions. Back Row, left to right: Javier Gresham, World Affairs Council; Jamie Glahn, Hoxworth Blood Center; Lawrence Cain, Abundance University.
Highlights from the Site Partner comments listed below:
  • “Quentel was a fantastic intern with an excellent memory. I rarely had to give him repeated instructions.” “It was great having Tiago in the studio with us! He was able to help several students a week with piano lessons and music production.”
  • “Drea did an excellent job in her internship. She operated not only in her artistic abilities but also in her leadership skills.”
  • “Pape was a joy to work with. He really took ownership of every responsibility we gave him.”
  • “Ramata was very attentive to direction and seemed to have a real desire to learn and do well.”
  • “Lexi is very personable and was a joy to be around. She was great with our staff, volunteers and donors.”
  • “Chris was a great worker and leader on site. Once he got comfortable with a task, he would take the initiative to lead others.”
Mohamed’s Experience … in His Own Words
One of JCG-CYC’s youth participating in SWEO program is Mohamed Camara, a graduate from Aiken New Tech High School who will be attending the University of Cincinnati in the fall. Mohamed’s career interest is International Affairs, so he was assigned work experience with the World Affairs council. Below are his comments on his experience: