PYC Students Demand Real-World Relevance

by Cynthia Gomez, JAG/YES Coordinator

Cynthia Gomez

Our PYC students are bright, hilarious, and so resilient. They are demanding real-world relevance, and we are committed to ensuring that all of our students graduate into life-enhancing opportunities, whether that means college, career training, an on the-job internship or apprenticeship.

For example, in our JAG class (Jobs for America’s Graduates), students explore and expand their skills and interests as they gain exposure to post-diploma possibilities. With an emphasis on community engagement and leadership, we’ve studied financial literacy, design and entrepreneurship, branding and marketing, and the many opportunities that exist in North Minneapolis.

Left to right: PYC students attended the Social Justice Career Fair at the U of M, the Healthcare Careers Forum at the Capri, and the Wunderkammer Career Fair, a tech and training exploratorium at the Minneapolis Workforce Center.

We’ve attended career and social justice conferences at Minneapolis College and the University of Minnesota. We’ve visited GRACO Manufacturing and the Zeus Jones marketing firm, and we put together a very successful Healthcare Careers Forum in February. Our Building Trades forum is slated for April 24, and we have an ARTtrepeneur/gig economy panel in the works for next year.

PYC staff members Crystal Ruiz and Christina Ashford are hosting the YouthBuild/Tree Trust program for summer and fall opportunities and we have students who are picking up career credentials through SOAR Career Solutions. As one student said, “Every time I get a new certificate, that’s a new opportunity!”

Real-World Results

  • 20 PYC students have been offered STEP-UP summer internships.
  • 7 students have interviewed with MnTrades and will soon hear back.
  • 10 students are being contacted about MnDOT summer internships.
  • 5 students have applied for opportunities with Appetite for Change.

The most exciting part of all this is that we’ve just begun to scratch the surface of what is available to our students. Many more plans are in the works.

Questions? Ideas? Need more information? Cynthia Gomez,

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