Recently I completed an internship at the Mid- Hudson Heritage Center through Hudson River Housing. I found out about this experience at a high school job fair and thought it would be a great opportunity. At the job fair I was told I would be paired up with a business on Main Street. When I got home I looked at all the different opportunities that were being offered and thought this Youth Leap Program would benefit me the most. I immediately sent in an application and hoped for the best.

     A few weeks later I got an email back saying that Nora and Dylan wanted to meet with me about choosing a business and what the program has to offer besides the internship. I was so excited to receive the email and knew it would be the start of something great.

     At the meeting with Dylan and Nora, they asked about my interests and activities I’m involved with at school and thought that based on my answers I would enjoy working at the Mid- Hudson Heritage Center. A few days later I met with Corene, the coordinator of the Heritage Center to talk about what I’d be doing and what days to come in. She explained that I’d be working in the pop up shop and with social media.

     Over the course of my internship I made flyers, made Facebook posts, worked in the pop up shop, and helped set up for various events. My favorite event was the First Friday Mixer. At the mixer I talked about different items in the pop up shop and rang customers up on the Square reader. I really enjoyed using the program and helping people make decisions on what they should get. It was rewarding seeing what people liked and said about the pop up shop since I helped with most of the new editions to it. I also enjoyed watching all the different members of the community talk to each other. It made me realize that Poughkeepsie isn't such a bad place after all. Many people do care about the community, contrary to popular belief. Before this program I couldn't wait to get out of Poughkeepsie but now I want to stay involved in the community and help with it’s restoration.

     Along with the internship, to get a well rounded experience, I attended community clay day and two workshops. One workshop helped us build better resumes and gave us tips for interviews and the other workshop made us financially aware about the different costs of life. I had a great experience at all three events and will make sure what I was taught will be put to good use. The workshops really gave me a better understanding and even opened my eyes in a sense to what I’d have to prepare for once I left High School.

     The Youth LEAP Program was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. It was my first job experience and I feel prepared to enter the workforce. I’ve gained invaluable experiences and met some pretty great people along the way. A major thanks to Dylan and Nora for making this all possible and to Corene for being a great boss and person to look up to.

 

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