Alicia Hubert was a student in The Youth Connection Career Academies in 2015. As a participant in the program, she had an internship with the Detroit Police Department at the Matrix Center. Alicia also earned certifications in First Aid/CPR/AED and completing our I2D2 Nutrition Education program. After graduating from Denby High School earlier this year, she started a full-time job this month and will be switching to part-time in January upon enrollment in the Culinary Arts program at Macomb Community College.
Alicia says “I did a lot of stuff I never did before. At DPD, we met with Chief Craig and other police leadership, took field trips, and learned what officers do on a day-to-day basis. I went camping for the first time as part of the DNR program and that was fun. One of the things I was proud of is going zip-lining – I was very scared but I did it. All of the outdoor activities were very fun – especially the horseback riding.”
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Makyia Hayes is currently a student in The Youth Connection Career Academies since 2013. Makyia had summer internships with Galilee Missionary Baptist Church and, in 2015, worked for Habitat for Humanity – Detroit. She really enjoyed helping Habitat for Humanity for the summer and it made her appreciate the work that they do year-round. She graduated from Martin Luther King, Jr. Senior High School in 2015, and was accepted and attended Jackson College in Jackson, MI. She completed her first year at Jackson College this year and is looking forward to returning in the fall to continue her studies.
In regards to her favorite outdoor activity she participated in as part of the program, Makyia said, “I really liked the high ropes course. It was fun and very challenging!” She added, “TYCCA helped me a lot. I love The Youth Connection. I learned from my work study and the program helped me prepare for interviews. I really enjoyed it!”
Ashley Abner was a student in The Youth Connection Career Academies from 2013 - 2015. As a participant in the program, she had a paid summer internship with Habitat for Humanity - Detroit. She worked in their administrative office helping the leadership of Habitat for Humanity continue their amazing work! Ashley also worked in partnership with the USDA, Detroit Police Department, State of Michigan Community Mental Health and The Youth Connection Substance Abuse Prevention Program to perform tobacco compliance checks on stores that sell cigarettes in Detroit and Wayne County. She visited over 100 stores over the course of two years to ensure that retailers were not selling tobacco to youth in our neighborhoods! Both The USDA and Detroit Police Department commended her on her efforts to stop the sale of cigarettes to underage youth.
Upon graduation from Martin Luther King, Jr. Senior High School in 2015, Ashley was accepted and attended Jackson College in Jackson, MI. She completed her first year at Jackson College earlier this month and is looking forward to returning there in the fall to continue her studies. In regards to her experience in the program, Ashley said, “It helped me prepare for my future and gave me the skills I needed to be successful.” She added that the career readiness workshops were the most helpful and the experience of going on The Youth Connection Career Academies College Tours was her favorite memory of the program. “Getting to see different colleges and universities all across the country was great and let me know what options were available to continue my education.”
Jamie Thompson participated in The Youth Connection Career Academies from 2013 - 2014. As part of the program, she worked as a Detroit Police Cadet as well as an intern for the Detroit School of Arts learning about careers and skills in the media and taking part in producing a range of PSAs and media broadcasts. Upon graduation from the Marvin L. Winans Academy of Performing Arts in 2014, Jamie was accepted with a FULL RIDE scholarship to the University of Michigan where she will be a junior this coming fall. She is double-majoring in Psychology and Women’s Studies and thoroughly enjoying life in Ann Arbor. This summer, Jamie will continue her studies abroad in London to experience all Europe has to offer while completing Sociology course work.
She is considering enrolling in a Masters of Social Work program upon college graduation. When asked about her participation in The Youth Connection Career Academies youth program, Jamie replied, “I enjoyed being in the program – it only helps you! I had fun and was able to use some of the skills I learned (mock interview sessions and resume-writing workshops) to get into college and help me find a part-time job to pay for some of my expenses the scholarship doesn’t cover.”
Joanelle Dickens-Glazer participated in The Youth Connection Career Academies (TYCCA) from 2010 – 2012. During that time, she had internships at the Caribbean Mardi Gras Festival, ELS Development Services, and at The Youth Connection as an administrative assistant. She also worked for the Southeast District manager of the Michigan DNR. After graduation from Crockett Technical High School, Joanelle began studying Graphic Design at Heartland Community College in Illinois.
After her junior year in college, Joanelle got a job with Delta airlines as a gate agent and soon transferred to become a flight attendant working out of O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. She has recently transferred back home to Detroit to work at Metro Airport to be closer to family. When asked about the best part of the program, Joanelle said, “I thought the interview skills session was really important and helped me get my current job.”
Ke’Yona Willis joined The Youth Connection Career Academies in 2011 as a student at Crockett High School. She held summer internships here at The Youth Connection offices in 2012 and 2013. She was a tremendous help for our staff those summers and we were sad to see her exit the program after her graduation. She currently works at full time at McDonald’s and will be attending Wayne County Community College District this fall to begin her studies to be a dental hygienist.
When asked about The Youth Connection Career Academies, Ke’Yona said, “My favorite part of the program was the hands on projects we did. Ms. Harvey had us do a photo project that allowed us to photograph our neighborhood and tell our story. I liked that because we were trying to change our neighborhoods for the better for the next generation of kids.” Ke’Yona also told TYC “If you are a youth looking to get a job or stay out of trouble, I would definitely get involved in The Youth Connection.”
Daniel Jackson joined The Youth Connection Career Academies (TYCCA) in 2013. After graduating from Southeastern High School, Daniel began at The Youth Connection (TYC) interning at The Belle Isle Golf Course. Daniel enjoyed working at the golf course maintaining and monitoring the trail and also driving the golf cart. Daniel currently works at Boston Market and he is planning to attend college in Atlanta, Georgia, to major in nursing later this year.
Throughout the program, Daniel’s favorite recreational activities were rock climbing, canoeing, and the obstacle courses. Daniel says “The message I would give youth is to definitely join The Youth Connection! The program will keep you busy and you will learn a great deal of responsibility. Whatever career interests you want to pursue, TYC has the resources to help you. TYC helped me open up and communicate better.”
Christopher Bennett joined The Youth Connection Career Academies (TYCCA) in 2013. After graduating from Martin Luther King Jr. Senior High School, Christopher began at The Youth Connection (TYC) interning at The Belle Isle Golf Course doing course maintenance and monitoring. Christopher’s favorite part about the program was the recreational activities such as going on camping trips and touring Mackinac Island.
Christopher attended Wayne County Community College majoring in psychology, but took a hiatus from school at WC3D and now works at Detroit Edison as a field tech to earn money to attend Wayne State University. Christopher says “The biggest impact for me was being in the program. The Youth Connection showed me that there are positive things to do in the city of Detroit and I hope a lot more youth can find that and join the program as well!”
Ranesha Brown joined The Youth Connection Career Academies (TYCCA) in 2007. Through The Youth Connection (TYC), Ranesha interned with Detroit Fire Department in 2007 and EMS Training Section in 2008. In 2009, upon graduating from Crockett Technical High School, Ranesha showed a career intrest in the Medical Field and is now a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) for Father Murray Nursing Center.
Ranesha is planning to begin classes this year to become a Registered Nurse (RN). Ranesha says “I want to thank The Youth Connection for exposing me to different career choices. I learned later in the program I didn’t want to be a Fire Fighter, but wanted to be in Nursing. Thank you to the TYC Staff for giving me structure, support and helping me plan my future!”
Chante Wiggins joined The Youth Connection Career Academies (TYCCA) in summer of 2012. Chante entered The Youth Connection with a smiling face and started her internship as an executive assistant for Ms. Hill, the TYCCA Program Director, filing documents, answering phones and volunteering in activities with the youth. Chante states the best part of her internship was the ability to have a summer job, her exposure to recreational activities such as rock climbing, kayaking and zip-lining, and exploring different colleges in the TYCCA College Tour.
In 2014, Chante graduated from Winans Academy and she currently attends Western Michigan University (WMU) as a sophomore, majoring in Public Relations. Chante also works part-time as a student ambassador for WMU giving college tours along with office and administrations duties. Chante says “The Youth Connection should be funded more because it helps young students in high school and college learn about many choices of careers, networking with other youth, and being exposed to new opportunities that will help youth succeed in the future”.
Patrick Nevitt joined The Youth Connection Career Academies in 2012. Patrick entered The Youth Connection (TYC) working at the Belle Isle Zoo. In 2013, Patrick’s internship with the Zoo and TYC ended as Patrick graduated from Osborn Math and Technology and attended Wayne County Community College, majoring in Business Management. Patrick is currently a member of the Cleveland Job Corps working as a facility maintenance trainee. Patrick has already completed private security and medical office support training.
Patrick will be finished with Job Corps in the summer of 2016, where he will move back home to Detroit and continue his studies and working with The Youth Connection. Patrick explains “My experience with TYC was amazing! The best part of the program was learning new skills such as resume and cover letter training, workplace readiness, the activities in the program like camping, canoeing, and also networking with other youth in the program activities.”
Margaret Scott joined The Youth Connection Career Academies (TYCCA) in 2011. As a participant in TYCCA, Margaret interned at the Belle Isle Nature Zoo. As a result of the program, she worked at River Raisin National Battlefield Park and Riverside Kayaking on Belle Isle. In 2013, with a 4.0 GPA, Margaret graduated from Pershing High School and she currently attends Alcorn State in Mississippi as a junior dual majoring in Criminal Justice and Pre-law.
Margaret is on track to graduate in 2017/2018 (Criminal Justice in 2017 and Pre-law in 2018). Margaret is very eager to graduate and start her job as a lawyer and judge. Margaret says “The best part of The Youth Connection was the internships, training and workshops we received (budgeting, work readiness,) and especially the resume and cover letter-building sessions. It was amazing to be a part of this program…The Youth Connection is fantastic!”
Kevin Durant joined The Youth Connection Career Academies (TYCCA) in 2008. Through The Youth Connection (TYC), Kevin interned at The Detroit Fire Department where he overcame his fear of heights by climbing a 100 foot ladder, learned about teamwork and most importantly, how to help the citizens in his community. In 2009, Kevin graduated from Detroit Loyola High School and he currently attends Macomb Community College earning his Associate of Business Administration degree while working full time as a hi-lo driver in the warehouse for Budweiser in Pontiac, Michigan. Kevin says “The Youth Connection is an important program because it gives youth a chance to explore careers, stay active in recreational activities and employed other than being in the streets and getting into trouble. The internships I had at TYC help me build my resume and gain experience!”
Carnesha Cannon joined The Youth Connection Career Academies (TYCCA) in 2012. Carnesha had an internship through TYCCA with Franklin Wright Settlements and Milliken State Park. In 2013, Carnesha graduated from Oak Park High School and she currently is a technician at MPW Industrial, a power washing company for General Motors and Chrysler. Carnesha says “ If it weren’t The Youth Connection, I would not know how to make a good resume or have the experience of working outdoors (which was new for me). They helped me prepare for working at my new job and I liked the recreational activities such as rock climbing and nature walks, and the budgeting workshops. I Love The Youth Connection. I would refer youth to this program!”
Micah Anderson joined The Youth Connection Career Academies (TYCCA) in 2009. Through TYCCA, Micah interned with the Detroit Police Department and Water and Sewerage Department. In 2012, Micah graduated from Oak Park High School and she currently works at Troy Veterinary Hospital as a veterinary assistant while raising her 1 year old son, Messiah.
Micah appreciates the activities and workshops that she was a part of, other youth she has networked with through TYCCA, and the recreational activities like kayaking and camping. Micah says “I would like to thank Dr. Dudley and The Youth Connection Staff for their help when I was in the program. Being a part of TYC was a great experience!”
Darnell Thompson joined The Youth Connection Career Academies (TYCCA) in 2011. Darnell entered The Youth Connection (TYC) receiving an internship at The Detroit Police Department after graduating from Southeastern High School. He enjoyed his internship with the Police Department and currently works for the Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) as a security guard and cleaner.
Darnell says, “I would like to Thank TYC for giving me the chance to learn new skills, work internships in the summer and the activities I participated with other youth. The Youth Connection kept me focused. I would recommend youth to the program because it’s wonderful program where you have fun while working and getting paid!”
Derrick King joined The Youth Connection Career Academies (TYCCA) early in the beginning of 2012. Derrick was a senior with no job, only a dream to one day help people. Multiple opportunities were made available upon his graduation from high school with the hard work and dedication of the very determined TYC staff.
The summer of 2012 was one for Derrick to remember because he would be working his first job and it didn’t matter to him that it was just a summer job. Derrick had chosen to intern with the Detroit Fire Department. During his summer at the training academy, Derrick learned about discipline, the true value of team work, unity, and developed stronger leadership skills.
In the summer of 2013, Derrick returned to The Youth Connection to participate in the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) program. He was placed at Nankin Mills in Westland. Nankin Mills is a Wayne County Park where the DNR has also made their presence felt. Derrick and other youth assigned to Nankin Mills were a huge part of their garden recovery project. Hard work, time, back breaking efforts, responsibilities and commitments were required to complete the job. It took a few weeks to complete but the job was done. Derrick was a youth leader at Nankin Mills. From the dedication displayed by Derrick, he earned an outstanding leadership award from The Youth Connection. Not only did he appreciate it, but he cherished it.
Later that year, an opportunity for employment became available with The Youth Connection’s I2D2 Fit n Fun Families Club health and nutrition education program. Derrick and 4 others were recommended for the job. Out of the 5, Derrick used what he learned most and was employed by the company he considers his family. Derrick has been a part of The Youth Connection staff for 2 years now.
Derrick’s favorite quote is when Dr. Dudley, the President and CEO of The Youth Connection says “we can’t expect others to help our youth if we’re not willing to help them ourselves.”
Kelsiana Gardner joined The Youth Connection Career Academies (TYCCA) in June 2013 and graduated from East English Village Preparatory Academy in 2014 with a 3.6 GPA. She is currently a sophomore at Wayne State University majoring in Film Studies. Her career goals are to become a film producer and own a film production company. As a result of her summer internship with TYCCA at the Marriott Hotel in 2015, she was hired as a part-time employee as a Lobby Attendant. In her short time as an employee of the Marriott in the Renaissance Center, she’s been recognized for her great work!
She received the monthly Safety Award for locating lost money of a hotel guest and received an award of acknowledgement for her diligence, dedication, and commitment to making the Marriot a better place to work. Kelsi, as she is affectionately known, said “Being in The Youth Connection really helped me in various ways, such as getting a real job, becoming a people person and overcoming my fear of communicating with other people.”
Frederick Smith joined The Youth Connection Career Academies (TYCCA) in 2013. Frederick entered TYC with a smiling face and determined mindset of working in the field of Radio & Television. Having opportunities to explore the fields of broadcasting, medical and hospitality, Frederick was overwhelmed with the impact of Dr. Dudley and the staff’s determination to connect him and youth to a brighter future, thus made him believe in The Youth Connection.
In 2014, Frederick graduated from Specs Howard School of Media Arts with a Certificate in Broadcast Media Arts. After Specs, Frederick was hired as the Social Media/Website Coordinator for The Youth Connection. Frederick stated “The Youth Connection with open arms allowed me to evolve and succeed in any industry of my choice, and for that I’m forever grateful and will be there to help the youth”.
Samad Bellamy was a participant in The Youth Connection Career Academies (TYCCA) from 2010 through 2013. After his first summer internship with the Detroit Fire Department, Samad was convinced that becoming a fire fighter was the perfect career choice for him. Rather than rotate through other internships in subsequent summers, Samad stuck with the DFD each summer he participated in the TYCCA. “Captain Green (one of Samad’s internship supervisors) was a great mentor in terms of showing me what it takes to be a fire fighter,” said Samad.
Having the summer internship each year gave him the opportunity to visit the fire-fighting training academy and get a first-hand look at that way fire departments operate. He was able to learn the day-to-day operation of a fire station and experience fire fighters preparing for work after catching a call which helped fuel his passion in his choice of careers. It also helped him get acclimated to the work environment of a fast-paced fire station in Detroit.
Samad graduated from Davis Aerospace Academy in June, 2013, and enrolled in Schoolcraft College for the fall semester to earn his fire-fighting certificate. Upon receiving his certificate, Samad applied for, and was hired, by the Highland Park Fire Department in May, 2014. He has been working as a fire fighter there ever since. “Ms. Hill (TYCCA Program Director) told me during one of my mock interview sessions to not be afraid to let my passion for the job show during the interview. That helped me when I interviewed for my job. In fact, the interviewers told me that they could see my passion and commitment to the job and told me to be expecting a call offering me the job very soon.”
The Youth Connection is very proud to work with young people like Samad to help them get connected to a career and a brighter future. “There needs to be more programs like The Youth Connection to help kids figure out what they want to do in life and even if you think you know what you want to do it would help to be in this program,” said Samad.
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Read about our current and former youth and their accomplishments throughout our Career Academies (TYCCA) program.
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The Youth Connection, Inc.
4777 E. Outer Drive
Detroit, MI 48234
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