This summer, I did an internship with Hudson River Housing called the Youth LEAP Program. The LEAP program had 6 students aged 16+ and over work at 1 of 5 local businesses on Main Street. I chose to work with the Middle Main Initiative and it was one of the best work experiences I've ever had so far.

    I first learned of the Youth LEAP Program at my after school program, Marist Liberty Partnership. Before I learned of this program I had been frantically looking for a summer job, applying online to McDonalds, Dollar General, anywhere that would hire me. So this program came as a blessing to me.

    Applying was simple but,  I was kinda nervous putting down my previous work experience because I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to do the internship due to the fact that this wasn't my first job. I had worked with the Poughkeepsie City School District the summer before, which was actually my first paying job. So, I was afraid that they would only want people with no previous work experience. Luckily, that wasn't the case and a few weeks later I was called in for an interview with Dylan and Nora.

    Dylan and Nora were really nice even though I felt like a nervous wreck. They asked me simple questions like what activities I did at school, a little survey, nothing too hard. I then knew that the Middle Main Initiative was where I wanted to be not only because the people working there were really friendly but because the Hudson River Housing office was literally just a 5 minute walk from where I lived! My schedule was really flexible and that was great because I actually had a second job with the library district in the evenings, so I was super grateful.

    While working at the Middle Main Initiative, I worked with Dylan and Nora (the best supervisors ever) and it was a lot of fun. I did data entry and organized the office a bit, and even got to help with Clean-Ups at both Mansion Square and Murphy Park! Being in the LEAP Program really gave me a chance to get involved with my community and giving me more experience in the workforce. It made me realize that Poughkeepsie isn't really as bad as some people say it is. I really wished that I could work with them for more than one summer but while I was here I never once disliked getting out of bed to go to work, as a matter of fact, I always looked forward to it.

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