Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster offers teens summer employment opportunities

 

LEOMINSTER — More than two dozen teens are participating in the annual Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster Career Launch program that gives them the opportunity to be employed for the summer at various places in Fitchburg, Leominster and beyond.

sen l bgcsummeremployment 0119-year-old Fitchburg State University biology major Abrianna Fusco is working as a Program Instructor at the Boys and Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster this summer as part of the organization’s Career Launch program. Fusco, pictured here with five to seven year old Sprouts, is an alumni of the club.

This year BGCFL invited community partners to assist in interview prep training and interviews that took place the week of June 21 at the club. Anthony Wilson from MassHire YouthWorks conducted a pre-interview workshop with 25 youth, and five Digital Federal Credit Union employees volunteered to participate in the actual interview process.

“It was nice to bring our partners in for a different focus and have them offer their wisdom and experience,” said club Executive Director Donata Martin.

Martin said the teens, who range in age from 15 to 19, have been placed in paying jobs at the club as well as at Fitchburg Art Museum, Jabil Healthcare, formerly Nypro, in Clinton, and more locations.

“We have had some success this summer with placing outside the club,” she said. “It is a great way for the young kids all the way up to the college to get experience in what they are studying.”

A 16-year-old Career Launch participant was recently placed in the Fitchburg Mayor’s Office and started on Tuesday.

“He is going to learn all kinds of things including customer service, dealing with constituents, and learning about it all,” Martin said, adding that when she spoke to him Wednesday “he said he had a great time” answering phone calls and such.

“The piece for me is learning the civics, what a great way to learn,” she said.

 

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Anthony Wilson from MassHire YouthWorks conducted a pre-interview workshop in June with 25 youth are participating in the annual Boys and Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster (BGCFL) Career Launch program that gives them the opportunity to be employed for the summer.

Over two dozen teens attended a pre-interview workshop in June as part of the annual Boys and Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster (BGCFL) Career Launch program, which gives area youth the opportunity to be employed for the summer.sen l bgcsummeremployment 04

A 17-year-old club member got a job teaching art in Fitchburg Public Schools as part of a Fitchburg Art Museum enrichment program alongside museum staff.

“She is one of our artists here, this is great for her,” Martin said.

Others are working as junior staff members at South Street Elementary School in Fitchburg, where BGCFL provides programs.

“They are enjoying getting that experience,” Martin said.

College students from Fitchburg State University, Quinsigamond Community College, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, some who are former club members and are now math and biology majors, are teaching younger students at the club this summer.

“It is great to see some of them come back during the summer as staff, they grew up in the club,” Martin said. “It is great to see the influence we had on them. That means our STEM programs are really engaging the kids and getting them interested in STEM.”

Several junior staff members are assisting the college students with facilitating programs and activities at the club in areas such as science, biology, reading, robotics, sports, hiking, photography, fine arts and more.

“The college students are great role models for the junior staff,” Martin said. “The benefits of this interaction spans career and college exploration, financial literacy and social emotional development.”

She said that besides current and former club members, they do have “other community members referred to us” for the summer employment program.

sen l bgcsummeremployment 02A Boys and Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster Career Launch program junior staff member helps photography students during a class taught by Sentinel correspondent John Love.

“We hope after this that they come back in the fall and will be part of our team,” Martin said. “It is a good recruitment tool for the club.”

In addition to the Career Launch program, BGCFL offers other ongoing, year-round after-school programs including Money Matters, a financial literacy program, and an entrepreneurial program, BGC-Prints, where students learn how to custom design and print T-shirts.

Martin said that besides interview training the youth took part in safety training with local police, and STEM and curriculum training, “so they can provide assistance to the staff and do some of the programming themselves.”

She said the paid positions, which will go until Aug. 6, also provide the teenagers with valuable tools and skills they can utilize as they head into adulthood including financial literacy, saving money and setting up direct deposit.

“We are having them do all that,” Martin said. “It is a total workforce readiness program.”