Upham's Corner Online

GOTCHA - Job Fair Held March 17, 2011 at Bird St Youth Center - Interviews

Posted: March 19, 2011     Nancy J Conrad

Upham's Corner News was excited to be able to interview several of the youth attending the Gotcha job fair about their hopes for employment and the jobs they were looking for. 

Isaac Smith and Jonathan Sims are active job seekers.

Kelly Andrade Fontes had a very special story to tell about last year's summer employment (she's 18 and can't apply this year).
Isaac Smith
Q:  What that of job are you looking for?  Any kind of job. 

Q:  What are you applying to?  All of them.  Do you have your resume ready?   Yes.

Q:  Which display did you like the best?  To be honest, I think it was the one where you would be going out and campaigning. 

Q:  So you like that kind of work?  Activism?  Yes.  Community organizing?  Yes.

Q:  Have you done that kind of thing before?  No.  What do you expect to learn over the summer?  How to be a good campaigner. 

Q:  How about youth leadership?  Yeah!  And I'm in 10th grade right now. 

Q:  Do you think this is going to help you in school?  Yes.  Will the money help?  Yes!

Jonathan Sims

Q:  What grade are you in?  I'm in the 12th grade. 

Q:  Have you been at this kind of program for?  Yes, I actually work at Bird Street now. 

Q:  So are you looking to have a job at Bird Street?  Yes, but whatever job is offered to me first.

Q:  Where have you applied this far?  I have applied at after school programs.  I also like outdoor type activities, whatever is active. 

Q:  Is it based on the kind of experience you have or are you looking for different experience?  I have taken care of preschool kids before – ABCD.  I like that kind of work.  A continuation of that work would be fine. 

Q:  Only about half the kids are going to get jobs.  Do you think you are going to get a job?  Yes, I do.

Q: What kind of job are you looking for?  I'm 18 so I can't get a job with Hope Line.

Q:  Do you recommend the Hope Line as a way of getting a summer job for the kids?  I really do.  It’s helped me and it helped a lot of students.  If you didn't have the Hope Line, I don't know where all of the students would be going right now.  I feel like they would probably be on the streets.  It takes a lot of jobs to get youth out of the streets, to have a job and pursue the things they really like to do. Kelly Andrade Fontes

Q:  Have you been to the job fairs in the past?  Last year I did.  And two summers ago I did.

Q: What kind of jobs have you had in the past?  Last year I worked with DSNI and the year before that, I worked with an all-girls group.

Q:  What did you do for DSNI?  We did the multicultural Festival, we had a trip to Martha's Vineyard, we did radio shows, we did car washing.  I took little children about five years old to the library for children's activities - to both the Upham's Corner library and Dudley.

We also did a lot of activities with the students, and we tried to help our community showing them that everyone can contribute ideas, that everyone has a voice and they can use their voice.

Q:  How has the activity at DSNI changed the way you see the world?  Ooh, that's a good question.  Actually, it's changed my perspective because I live in Dorchester and I never came to this side of Roxbury once in my life.  I live on Bowdoin Street.  I came to Roxbury last summer for the job at DSNI and I had no idea what I was getting into.

When I first came, I had no idea what it was about.  So I talked to other students and learned what they were doing.  It was DSNI and DNI combined together for a meeting.  I learned how to work together in groups.

I've gotten a lot of support by Ros [Everdell].  She's done my recommendation for scholarships.  She's done a lot of things to help me with my schoolwork so I really appreciate her.  It has helped me because I feel like if I didn't have the opportunity to work here last summer, I have no idea where I would be now.

I'd have one job and that's about it.  And I would care less about my community.  But now I have a perspective in mind that I want to do something with my life and I want to help others to know that you can do something in your community to be positive instead of negative.

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