August 2022

Columbus Urban League program aims to prepare kids for life changing careers

Courtesy of ABC6
By Rodney Dunigan
July 29, 2022

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX) — Preparing the next generation of leaders, entrepreneurs and business owners here in Central Ohio. A young group of university graduates walked across the stage Friday.

This school spearheaded by the Columbus Urban League offers real-world experience and these students are younger than you would expect.

“We have a whole bunch of our kids that are doing great things and all they need is that extra push. They need that encouragement, they need that love and support and that’s what we’re here to do,” said Columbus Urban League CEO Stephanie Hightower.

A host of young grads got their honors from the Columbus Urban Leagues’ ‘Work Readiness Training University.’ The kids involved are as young as 14 years old. The aim is to give kids insight into careers they never imagined.

“We need these types of programs for high school students,” 15-year-old participant Mikaya Price said.

“I really enjoyed this program. Honestly, it taught me a lot about future career avenues,” 15-year-old participant Paris Thompson said.

Teens taking part in the program spend the summer working with a wide range of companies across Columbus. They learn what it’s like to work for a high-powered organization.

“You can’t be what you can’t see. You need to have the experience. You need to have the exposure,” Hightower told ABC 6.

Organizers say the opportunity not only gives students a head start on their futures, but the paycheck they receive helps to support their families now.

“I just wasn’t expecting anything like this,” Thompson said.

“If we have opportunities like this that parents encourage their children to be in them, they’re not in the street getting into trouble. They’re learning skills that can get them on the right track, get them on the right path,” parent Karen Clark said.

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