By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Seventeen teenage girls will graduate next week from a local workforce empowerment summer camp. The young ladies learned about more than just how to get a j-o-b.
The Evoluer Workforce Development Program used workshops, seminars and networking events over the course of eight weeks to teach the young women how to become future top contenders in their chosen field.
“You have to be yourself because that is who you are and that’s what is going to get you to where you need to be,” says Jamilah Jones, 15.
She is in tenth grade at Mary Mercer Academy.
“I definitely learned about interviews and resumes and things that get you started and ways to put yourself out there. And then we also talked about once you get into the workforce how you should put 100 percent into what you want to do,” Jones says.
“We ask them what kind of career goals do you have? Do you have a back up plan to the back up plan?” says Ciara Nobles who taught some of the seminars.
But she says they also focused on interpersonal skills.
“People don’t know how to deal with emotions, especially this young generation. So we are teaching them, how to get in touch with their emotions. [We tell them] have a conversation with yourself- ask why am I upset? Why am I angry? What is going on in my life? Why do I want to go over and hurt this person?” explains Nobles.
Imani Pendergrass, 15, took the program last year. She says it helped boost her confidence and self esteem and taught her a number of valuable lessons.
“It’s how you speak to people and how you treat people that will make the difference,” she says. “Because they’ll probably remember how you made them feel, more than what you wore to an interview. And- just be yourself. When you let your inner-self shine, it’s the most beautiful person you can be,” Pendergrass said.
The seventeen girls will graduate from the program this week. For more info on the empowerment camp, go to evoluerhouse.org.