Work Opportunities For Young People to Build Their Skills
Young people need access to job and professional development opportunities to build skills and prepare for their post-high school lives. We believe that young people also deserve to be paid for their work and ideas. Maine employers struggle to find workers with in-demand skills and competencies, and at the same time work-eligible youth are often unable to find meaningful skill-building employment experiences. MYAN partners with organizations and supports programs that increase access to employment and internship opportunities for all young people. We compensate young people engaged in internships, leadership activities and research projects.
Youth Employment: Gateway to Opportunity
The Gateway to Opportunity Program (G2O) connects low-income high school students with paid, work-based learning projects during the summer. These projects help students develop the 21st Century Skills required for success after high school. The G2O program is a model from the Portland area, which MYAN is expanding to other parts of the state. The program is based on national best practices and employability initiatives led by Brandeis University’s Center for Youth and Communities. This iteration of G2O was crafted by the Cutler Institute at the University of Southern Maine to serve Portland’s unique youth and business communities.
G2O focuses on helping youth be successful in today’s workforce, with tangible outcomes to young people, their communities and the local economy. The G2O model is grounded in the following core principles:
- youth work in project teams rather than individually.
- youth have the freedom to self-direct their day-to-day tasks with guidance from supportive adults.
- youth reflect on employability development and learning.
- youth take ownership of designing their final work products.
- youth are supported by near-peer mentors who are undergraduate college students.
Examples of previous projects:
- Community Event Planning
- Design thinking, coding and app development and Technology
- Video production
- And community needs assessments
Internships for Young Adults
Internships are ladders of leadership—they provide young people a path to increasing levels of responsibility and management in our programs. Youth that graduate from programming can continue as interns and leaders to shape those programs and further develop their skills. Internships are a pivotal part of our team. They’re a two-way avenue for young people to inform our work and keep it relevant to youth experience, and for us to support interns in developing 21st century job skills and making impacts on youth engagement work in Maine.