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Experiences for Youth Create a More Stable Financial Future

April 14, 2015

Youth Employment

United Way’s Youth Employment Program connects teens with job training, financial workshops, individual coaching and exposure to careers matching their talents and interests. Youth are matched with local companies and nonprofit organizations for paid, six-week internships that help them gain career experience.

In the Youth Employment Program, students get hands on experience and build practical skills that will prepare them for their careers.
In the Youth Employment Program, students get hands on experience and build practical skills that will prepare them for their careers.

Last summer, United Way engaged 122 students and 49 organizations in the Youth Employment program. This resulted in students developing skills and knowledge critical to long-term financial prosperity, which supports United Way’s mission to strengthen the financial stability of northeast Florida. Read below to see some first-hand perspectives on the impact of Youth Employment.


Youth Employment is a vital program that benefits both students and businesses by creating opportunities to help youth uncover and develop career skills for long-term financial stability, while providing companies with a hardworking and dedicated intern.

Here’s what Rico Simmons, a career coach and consultant, had to say about the experience:

“For the last three years, I have participated with United Way’s program as a career coach for Aetna. I can proudly say this program is an excellent opportunity for the students to develop their skills and find out what opportunities we have to offer them. I encourage all companies to sign up. It’s a great opportunity for your organization to give back to the community and it can be a great learning experience for the students.”

Toni, a high school student and aspiring lawyer, shared her thoughts about the powerful experience of getting exposure to various sectors of community development and leadership:

“Everything that I experienced within each department at Catholic Charities displayed an abundance of compassion for clients. Having the opportunity to work in both the Workforce Development Department and the Resource Development Department enabled me to gain skills that will last a lifetime.

The work was all professional training, which I took very seriously. It allowed me to practice my customer service and computer skills. I appreciate all that they have taught me in as little as six weeks. 

I am a witness that the program was a life-changing and inspiring experience for me. The training helped me understand what the working world is like.” 

We invite you to join us in this community-wide workforce development initiative. United Way is seeking employers to provide 100 Jacksonville youth with work experience, job shadowing opportunities and mentoring by work professionals. There is no cost to you, except for the time your company and staff invests in developing an intern.

To get involved, contact Angela Mack, Youth Employment Program Manager, at AngelaM@nulluwnefl.org.