First session kicks off Sept. 17

(FLINT, Mich. – Aug. 30, 2018) TeenQuest – a pre-employment and leadership training program designed to prepare young people for success in the 21st-century workplace – has released its 2018-19 schedule. Enrollment is open to all students, ages 14-19 in grades 9-12, in Genesee County.

The five-week program, offered four times during the school year, focuses on developing the skills to secure and keep a job. Hands-on activities promote key soft skills including communication, goal setting and conflict resolution. Participants also learn how to write resumes, prepare for interviews and open personal checking/savings accounts.

“TeenQuest provides Genesee County teens with a solid foundation to start their job search,” said James Avery, director of Education & Training at the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. “It gives them the tools and, more importantly, the confidence to stand out to employers.”

Every April, TeenQuest graduates are invited to the Summer Youth Initiative (SYI) Job Fair to interview with local businesses and organizations for summer employment. In 2018, nearly 400 students secured summer jobs with SYI employers including the Flint Public Library, Food Bank of Eastern Michigan and Genesee County Parks. According to Avery, older TeenQuest and SYI alumni can now be found in a variety of industries and careers, including education, law enforcement and finances.

In addition to improving general job readiness, TeenQuest can have a positive impact in other areas of life. In a 2014 evaluation from the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce, 75 percent of parents said that their student’s school performance improved following their participation in TeenQuest. Additionally, many parents have reported seeing improved confidence in their students.

“After our oldest daughter went through TeenQuest, we noticed that she became more assertive,” said James Richardson, father of three TeenQuest alumni. “She was more willing to speak with her teachers, versus my wife calling them for her. She started taking on that responsibility herself.”

Looking forward, TeenQuest’s first session will be held Sept. 17-Oct. 18 at the following locations:

  • Genesee STEM Academy, 4-6 p.m.
  • Genesee High School, 3-5 p.m.
  • Grand Blanc High School, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
  • Hamady High School, 3-5 p.m.
  • International Academy of Flint, 4-6 p.m.
  • Southwestern High School, 3:30-5:30 p.m.

Future TeenQuest sessions will be held Oct. 29-Nov. 29, Jan. 7-Feb. 7 and Feb. 18-March 21.

Other participating sites include Atherton High School, Beecher High School, Bendle High School, Bentley High School, Boys & Girls Club, Carman Ainsworth High School, Carman-Ainsworth Baker Career Academy, Clio High School, Davison High School, Hamady High School, Kearsley High School, Lakeville Highschool, Linden High School, Madison Academy and Swartz Creek High School.

TeenQuest is held two hours a day Monday through Thursday. Registration for the next session ends Sept. 17.

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, Ruth Mott Foundation, Hagerman Foundation, and other generous funders. To apply or learn more, visit www.flintandgenesee.org/teenquest.