History of The Program
The Career Explorers program began in 2003 when EmPOWERment, Inc. identified that one of the problems hindering minority and low to moderate income youth is the lack of employment opportunities after high school. In a county-wide youth summit the same year, young people vocalized concern about the lack of jobs. EmPOWERment, Inc. approached local business owners with the idea of hiring youth with little to no experience and working with them as interns throughout the summer.
Community business partners agreed to create paid intern positions and provide the program participants with valuable work experience while increasing the local job pool and impacting the life of a local teenager.
In the first year of the program, EmPOWERment, Inc. was able to pair five interns with community partners. With each ensuing year, the program has grown and developed. As of the summer of 2017, the Career Explorers program has created over 130 jobs for youth in the community.
How career explorers spend their summer
As full time employees, Career Explorers spend 36 hours per week on site with their employer and four hours per week with Career Explorer program administrators. During these four hours, students are able to share their experiences, ask questions and participate in valuable workshops that teach a variety of life skills including financial literacy, budgeting, employment and personal etiquette, leadership development, civic awareness, resume writing, and conflict resolution. These four hour sessions take place on Fridays and consist of presentations from experienced guest speakers and tours of local businesses.
PAST Community business PArtners
We are proud to say that every summer since the program began, at least one Career Explorer has been offered a permanent position or has been requested for the following summer by their employer.
Not only do we provide jobs, but we also provide a great foundation for students entering the workforce. Our goal is that participants will gain valuable life and career experience throughout the program and beyond.
The application process has ended for 2018, but please stay in touch for information about summer 2019. Applications are usually released in late spring.
If you are interested in applying, please submit your application before May 1, 2019: Application