With so many challenges facing our community as summer begins, it can seem hard to find ways to continue to engage with one another. With many offices still restricting in-person attendance and our familiar summer outdoor events canceled, it can feel like an isolating time despite the enticing summer weather.
As young professionals, we still have many ways to engage with our community this summer despite an inability to do so in person. One example is the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) Virtual YouthWorks Program.
Despite many limitations for the wonderful Baltimore YouthWorks Program given the safety concerns stemming from COVID-19, this program, called S.A.F.E. — Students Achieving Future Excellence (#stayS.A.F.E), will focus on teaching youth teleworking skills, tools, and best practices so students can be successful not only in the current environment but in the workplace of tomorrow.
UMMC YouthWorks interns are expected to commit to and complete a five-week virtual program requiring a minimum of 125 hours of service. In addition to engaging in a rewarding virtual summer work experience, interns will develop “transferable skills” to incorporate throughout their professional and personal life.
UMMC is also committed to providing the YouthWorks Interns with valuable leadership and professional development training that fosters learning and includes among its topics: communication, time management, critical thinking, self-awareness and problem solving.
Despite not being able to have mentors in the workplace, the program is still looking for professionals to serve as coaches. These coaches would be asked to provide oversight and support to YouthWorks job coaches in the development of teams and to provide support to interns.
Coaches are asked to manage 10 interns and assist in their professional development while offering connections to pathways to higher education and/or employment opportunities. The coaches would also help the YouthWorks interns in developing programs that would respond to problems affecting Baltimore city.
If you are interested in engaging in a wonderful program and helping to address an important gap in mentorship that typically involves an in-person office experience, this is a way to be involved.
Samuel Burris, community engagement manager and program coordinator, is excited about this partnership in such a difficult time. “We are proud to partner with the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development to offer the young people of this great city the opportunity to experience how rewarding a career in health care can be,” he says. “It is our hope that through this experience young people realize not only the opportunities to work in a career field that can impact lives, but also their own potential to achieve career goals and become ‘agents of change’ in their communities.”
So while there are a lot of challenges this summer, there are also a lot of opportunities to engage with one another and continue to build a strong community. Even if you are working from home, you can help work toward a better Baltimore with this and other programs this summer.