'This is a great summer': Area youth get chance to join workforce, earn first paycheck

Published on Tuesday, 11 August 2020 10:45
Written by Ciara Hooks


NEW BRITAIN – An American Savings Foundation grant allowed 30 youth to join the workforce and earn their first paychecks this summer.

The $75,000 grant supported the New Britain Summer Youth Employment and Learning Programs and paid summer internship programs for college students, providing them with job readiness and career experience.

“Great program; learning new skills; safe place and of course it’s my first paycheck. This is a great summer,” said student Tashonia Ashby when asked to list the best things about the program.

The 30 youth ranged from ages 14-16.

“Our board felt strongly that our support for Summer Youth Employment Programs and summer internships give local youth important opportunities to prepare for future careers,” said Maria Falvo, president & CEO of the American Savings Foundation. “In March, they set this funding aside in the hope that the public health situation would allow these programs to run. We’re so thrilled that these students have been able to benefit from these opportunities during an extraordinary time.”

Over the years OIC of New Britain, Pathways/Senderos, and the YWCA of New Britain have partnered to provide summer youth employment experiences for these youth. This year covid-19 precautions and best practices have been woven into the program designed at each agency and are being incorporated in the wide range of workplace responsibilities taught to the students.

ASF also funded paid summer internships for 13 of the foundation’s current Robert T. Kenney Scholars who are acquiring professional experiences at local nonprofit agencies. These positions totaled nearly $70,000.

Mahmuda Chowdhury, who is from New Britain, is working directly with the program at OIC. Chowdhury, a Business MIS major at UConn, was a great match for a program teaching business and employment skills to her younger peers.

“With this internship, I was not only able to work through the worst economic crisis we have ever seen but also given the chance to work with our next generation of leaders and workers” Chowdhury said. “The OIC program is so special from the students to the staff and I’m so grateful for the American Savings Foundation for giving me the opportunity to work with them this summer.”

Posted in New Britain Herald, New Britain on Tuesday, 11 August 2020 10:45. Updated: Tuesday, 11 August 2020 10:47.