Wrap-up of NOVA’s Summer Youth Program

As the summer season comes to a close, NOVA’s 2012 summer youth program is wrapping up for the year. This year, 43 disadvantaged youth from your communities participated in the summer youth program. The program began in the spring with workshops focusing on the development of work readiness skills. Youth were then placed in paid internships throughout the community to gain real world experience in the workplace. Host worksites included Cisco Systems, City of Sunnyvale, De Anza College, Foothill College, Manpower, Mountain View Chamber of Commerce, Pipe Trades Training Center, State Farm Insurance, Sunnyvale School District, retail companies such as TJMaxx and Marshall’s, and nonprofit organizations such as Goodwill, Heart of the Valley, and Our Daily Bread, among others. The depth and breadth of worksites available this year was extensive and provided opportunities for youth that could be customized to their specific interests and career goals. As part of the summer program, youth also went on field trips to learn more about other career paths that they may (or may not) have considered, including: Cisco Systems, De Anza College, Foothill College, Kaiser Permanente, Mission College, Pipe Trades Training Center, and San José State University.

At the end of the summer program, NOVA hosted a career fair at the Sunnyvale Community Center. The event kicked off with a very inspirational keynote speaker, Cecilia Garza, CEO of Wild Taste Catering. Youth participated in breakout sessions held throughout the morning that focused on specific career tracks: technology and design; careers in customer service, including hospitality, retail, culinary arts, recreation, personal training, and police and fire; helping professions in teaching, guidance counseling, and probation; careers in the medical field; and opportunities in the construction, automotive, and landscape trades. Experienced professionals participated on panels for each of the breakout sessions to discuss their experiences; a former NOVA youth who is now working for the CEO at Cisco Systems participated on the technology panel.

This year, the NOVA Foundation raised funding for thirteen youth internships from NOVA Board member companies: Cisco Systems (six internships), Manpower (five internships), and Pipe Trades Training Center (two internships). This new funding for youth internships was in addition to funding received through the federal Workforce Investment Act and through the City of Sunnyvale’s annual giving campaign. For more information about the Youth Foundation and if your city wishes to add NOVA youth internships to your annual giving campaign in the fall, please contact NOVA director, Kris Stadelman, and visit the Foundation webpage on the NOVA website.

NOVA would like to extend a special thank you to those cities and businesses that participated in the program this summer. Your contributions made a significant difference in making this summer truly memorable for those youth who would not otherwise have had this opportunity.