Friday

From Obstacle to Reward

From left to right: Patrick Casteel, Miquel Davis,
Melanie McKinley Miller, Lisa Michel Adair-Averitte

Four individuals, each with different circumstances, came to the Simon Youth Pacers Academy at Washington Square for the purpose of graduating high school. While doing their studies they were offered an opportunity to participate in an internship with CVS Caremark called the Pathways to Logistics in Indianapolis, Indiana. This unique partnership gives deserving students an opportunity to get real work experience so they can get on track towards a successful career.

These youth went through a formal application and interview process. Patrick Casteel said this was one of the most helpful parts for him. He feels this preparation will serve him well in the future.

“This was my first real job,” Casteel said. “I was shaking doing the interview, but they calmed me down so I could show them I could do it. I’ll definitely be ready for my next interview thanks to the program.”

Outside of practical work-related skills, Lisa Michell Adair-Averitte said the most educational experience was the interactions with co-workers.

“I’m a hard worker, but used to working by myself,” said Adair-Averitte. “Since I had never done this before or worked in this type of place, I needed to ask for help and understand that I didn’t know everything. That was hard, but I think it helped me learn that lesson.”

Miquel Davis didn’t know what to expect when walking through the doors the first day. She was both nervous and excited at the opportunity to work. She now believes the sky’s the limit.

“I liked everything I did here,” said Davis. “It wasn’t easy but I think I can do anything now because I learned how to deal with people better. I think I could work in the warehouse for a while and move into a manager role - that’s not something I thought about before.”

Start Here. Go Anywhere. is not just a tagline, it’s a window of opportunity Melanie McKinley Miller now believes in with this internship.

“I’d like to have a job here to get me started, but down the road I’d like to do something with art and fashion,” said Miller. “I really like interior design or start a company like that. This experience helped think I could do it.”

Along with a certificate of completion, each student receives a $1,000 stipend. Learn more about each of these students as we dive deeper into their experience over the next several days.

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