Tara* has learned a lot of different skills through her summer job with Tree Trust – like the importance of getting to work on time and how to interact with different people – but the best skill she gained is communication. “My communication skills got a lot better,” she said. “I used to be anti-social and shy and didn’t like to talk to people, but now I do.” Tara added that she likes working on a team and meeting new people through her job placement at a retail store.
Tara, 17, is enrolled in the Individual Employment Experiences through Tree Trust’s Summer Youth Employment Program. In this program, participants are placed in jobs throughout the metro area in schools, nonprofit organizations, and businesses working in retail, food service, childcare, administrative assistance, and more. This is a unique experience for participants in which they can earn wages, develop pride in their abilities, and gain transferable job skills to take with them to future jobs.
Although she has another job at fast food restaurant, Tara prefers her job through Tree Trust. She says her boss is sweet and that she gets along well with her coworkers, and that she feels comfortable going to her Tree Trust case manager about anything she needs. “I would definitely recommend this program to others. I think it’s really good especially for troubled kids, or anyone. They should really try it.”
Tara is entering her senior year of high school, and is already eagerly looking forward to college. She plans to study psychology and hopes to attend either Mankato or St. Cloud State University. She’s even working to graduate high school a semester early to get a jump on college applications.
Tara is proud of her new ability to “deal with things on my own, become more independent, and be more responsible. Through this program, I feel like I am doing something great.”
* Names have been changed