Countywide Afterschool Program Kicks Off First Session Sept. 19

(FLINT, Mich. – Sept. 8, 2016) TeenQuest – a pre-employment and leadership training program designed to prepare Genesee County youth for success in the 21st-century workplace – has released its 2016-17 schedule. Enrollment is open to all students, ages 14-19 in grades 9-12, in Genesee County.

TeenQuest will be offered four times during the current school year. The first session will be held from Sept. 19 to Oct. 20 at the following locations:

  • Carman-Ainsworth High School, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
  • International Academy of Flint, 4-6 p.m.
  • Northwestern High School, 3:30-5:30 p.m.
  • Southwestern Classical Academy, 3:30-5:30 p.m.

The five-week afterschool program teaches students not only about what it takes to get a job, but also how to keep that job after being hired, according to Rhetta Hunyady, Vice President of Education & Training at the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, which administers TeenQuest.

“TeenQuest covers the basics of how to write a resume and answer questions during an interview,” Hunyady said. “It also places special emphasis on the development of soft skills – such as communication and conflict resolution – that are critical to succeeding in today’s workplace.”

Students who graduate from TeenQuest are invited to apply for the Summer Youth Initiative (SYI) Job Fair, which connects hundreds of local teens to summer employment each year. Assignments range from water distribution and blight elimination to office work and providing enrichment programming for local youth.

A 2014 evaluation from the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce found that nearly all employers with both SYI and non-SYI employees rated their SYI workers as equally or better prepared than their non-SYI workers – both youth and adults. SYI workers most often out-performed their non-SYI counterparts in the areas of teamwork, communication, positive attitude, ability to adapt and commitment to job quality.

What’s more, the report also found that 75 percent of parents reported that their student’s school performance improved following their participation in TeenQuest.

“TeenQuest and SYI provide a strong foundation for area teens as they move through school and into the working world,” Hunyady said. “The skills they learn and practice here are applicable everywhere – in school, at work and beyond. It prepares them to be leaders in all aspects of their lives.”

Future TeenQuest sessions will be held from Oct. 31-Dec. 1, Jan 9-Feb. 9, and Feb. 27-March 30. In addition to the aforementioned schools, participating sites include Atlantis Alternative High School, Baker Career Academy, Beecher High School, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Flint, Flushing High School, Grand Blanc High School West, Kearsley High School, Lakeville High School, Linden High School, Northwestern High School, Southwestern Academy, Swartz Creek High School.

TeenQuest is held two hours a day Monday through Thursday. Registration for the upcoming session ends Sept. 19.

For more information, or to enroll, visit www.flintandgenesee.org/teenquest or call (810) 600-1413.

About the Summer Youth Initiative and TeenQuest

The Summer Youth Initiative is a program that helps Flint-area teens find paid summer jobs. It’s open to students who’ve completed the TeenQuest afterschool program, which provides pre-employment and leadership training to students ages 14 to 19 to help them succeed in college and the 21st century workplace. Both programs are administered by the Genesee Area Focus Fund, a supporting organization of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, with support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. To apply or learn more, visit www.flintandgenesee.org/teenquest.