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Summer program helps careers

WARREN — Local high school graduates and current college students gained first-hand experience of career possibilities when they were paired with local business people in a Summer Career Development Program coordinated by Inspiring Minds.

While Inspiring Minds worked in programs with elementary and middle school children this summer, they also worked with college students, some of whom were in the organization’s programs when they were younger.

Jessica Winters, program administrator for Inspiring Minds, said 18 young adults were paired with local businesses for eight-to-12-week paid career-interest jobs, creating mutually beneficial workforce development opportunities.

The idea, she said, was to help the young people see bright career opportunities available in Warren.

Marvin Logan, transitional coordinator for Inspiring Minds, said the program allows IM to continue to support students post-high school into college.

“We provide them with career opportunities that get them exposed to their interested career fields and let them gain skills to be a well-rounded professional,” he said.

Fields the young adults are going into include criminal justice, education, sports management and physical therapy.

Each student gave a presentation on what their program experience has been like at a showcase this week at Harding High School, Logan said.

Celeste Harris, a 2018 Warren Harding High School graduate planning to study nursing at Howard University, said, “I saw what it is like to have a job in a professional field. This program put me in a hospital environment so I could learn the ins and outs of a hospital and how to interact with people.”

Marcus Boomer, a Harding graduate who will graduate later this year from Bowling Green State University with a degree in communications, said was in Inspiring Minds while a student at Harding.

“I was a mentor in the program and got to help the younger students. I was on my way to college and they were still in school and was able to prepare them for what they would experience,” Boomer said.

He said this IM program provided him an internship with Eastern Ohio Education Partnership, where he worked with that agency’s summer program, which assisted high school seniors and college freshmen be prepared for college.

“I tried to help them with any questions or even fears they had about college,”Boomer said.

Winters said employers assisted at the event, including Warren Schools Superintendent Steve Chiaro, who had two students spend time with him over the summer exploring the education field.

bcoupland@tribtoday.com

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