Archive for July, 2011
“My time with Winning Futures has been very rewarding, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to mentor with this organization. The structure of the program and the guidance from the staff to support its mentors, made me feel confident that I was truly helping my students improve their lives. This year has truly been a life-changing experience for me, which is why I selected Winning Futures to be supported by the National Cares Mentoring Movement for resources to mentor more students.”
Kimle Mitchell – Winning Futures Mentor
In the world of work, we are often called upon to give a “30-second elevator pitch”. This can be a pretty intimidating and uncomfortable for an adult, let alone a teen. Few people enjoy selling themselves in this way, but it is an important skill/tool to have! Winning Futures mentors work with students to help them perfect a 30-second interview pitch.
To help students in writing a script for a 30-second interview pitch, consider having them answer the following questions:
1. My name is (state both first and last name):
2. I am interested in finding a job/career/internship in:
3. I graduated from:
4. During high school, I was involved in:
5. In this activity I learned/accomplished:
6. I will be of value to your company because:
After students write their scripts, mentors work with each student to practice their elevator pitch. With the help of the mentor’s positive reinforcement and coaching, students gain confidence and enthusiasm. This learn-by-doing session helps students practice their speaking skills and perfect their interview pitch in a friendly, nurturing atmosphere. They will gain a tool they will be able to use as they begin to enter the workforce.
With the help of mentors, Winning Futures talks to students about the importance of community service and how it helps others as well as the benefits for the individual providing the service (college admittance, resume building, leadership skills, etc.). Teams are required to complete a community service project to benefit a group in society.
By doing things that interest them, teens often gain new skills and find new career opportunities that they hadn’t thought of before. Students working with animal organizations may discover they would like to become a veterinarian. Those helping disabled individuals may find opportunities in health care or social services. In addition, the experiences gained in volunteer settings can provide teens with skills in leadership and decision-making, and also look attractive on college and scholarship applications.
Teens are exposed to people and circumstances they have not encountered in their life. Volunteers learn about respect and kindness through working with the homeless, serving the elderly at a retirement home, or helping disabled children create art. Teens develop better appreciation for the little things in life and also receive a personal satisfaction of knowing they have made a difference in someone’s life.
Besides finding new career opportunities, volunteering also provides teens with other skills necessary in the job market. Teens have a chance to learn important communication and interpersonal skills. The same leadership skills that help with their education will also help in the business world. Volunteering also provides teens a chance to increase their knowledge in certain areas. Those activities could add experience to a resume.
To find a place in your area to volunteer go to http://www.volunteermatch.org/.