For the seventh consecutive year, Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (CSS) is implementing the Summer WorkReady Program managed by the Philadelphia Youth Network. This summer, CSS has provided 25 high school students with educationally enriched work opportunities at various Out-of-School Time (OST) program sites.
WorkReady is a critical entry point for high school youth into the workforce. For many participants it is their first job. Over the course of six weeks, students learn the importance of work etiquette, skill attainment, and high school completion.
Jo Nicole Bradley, Director of John W. Hallahan Catholic Girl’s High School OST program said, “Many of our WorkReady participants attended OST programs as children. Their parents felt at ease when they transitioned into the WorkReady program knowing their children would learn skills they need to thrive in the workforce.” For some, this will be their second or third year participating, so they are now able to help guide newcomers. In addition, all students are working on a nutrition project together to learn healthy habits and important skills such as problem solving.
“I attended OST as a child and this is my fourth year participating in the WorkReady program,” said Vyshonne, a senior from Mastery Charter School. “When I am at DePaul’s OST program, I watch the kids and help in the office. After I graduate I plan study computer science at Bloomsburg University or Cabrini University.”
Like Vyshonne, Juan is a fourth year WorkReady participant and a senior at Community Academy of Philadelphia Charter School. He said, “I like working at the Holy Innocent OST program because I went to camp there when I was younger. I play games with campers and help them with academics.”
For more than 20 years, CSS has served at-risk children and youth in grades K-12 with quality OST programs located throughout the city of Philadelphia. During the school year, the programs provide challenging and engaging learning experiences that help children develop the social, emotional, physical, and academic skills vital to future educational achievement.
Editor’s Note: To learn more about CSS’ Out of School Time Programs, please visit http://cssoutofschooltime.org/. To learn more about the Philadelphia Youth Network’s WorkReady program, please visit http://www.workreadyphila.org/.