Youths Soar to New Heightsposted 8/23/16 -- LCCAA's Summer Youth Program offered local high school students a chance to help others, learn new skills and explore career fields.
"I am so proud of our youth," said Program Coordinator Aaron Thompson. "I've watched their confidence and self-esteem grow."
The teens toured local colleges and other places such as the County Airport. They also volunteered serving meals at Salvation Army and cleaning the grounds at city offices and the Palace Theatre.
Taylor Buchanan, a senior at Lorain High school plans to attend college to study nursing and said she learned a lot about team work and effective communication.
Another participant, Jazmin Keiffer will attend cosmetology school this year.
"Serving meals at the Salvation Army taught me to be grateful for all I have and to take the time to listen to people and their life stories," Keiffer said.
The program also included college visits, career conversations and work on building resumes and interviewing.
"We visited several college campuses, met with local community leaders, worked outdoors, learned technology skills, and held mock interviews," Thompson said. "We wanted to teach them about having options in the work force. You can choose to be a laborer or you can choose to advance your education. It's all up to you."
Ian Martinez a junior at Lorain High School gained confidence. "I learned to face my fears," he said. "I'm thankful for the college tours and the opportunity to shadow a graphic designer, which is what I'd like to become."
Thompson said the program definitely reached its goal of demonstrating the power of choice in the students' futures.
"Whatever they choose, we taught them to always take pride in their work," he said. "I see their potential and hopefully now, they see their own."