By: Meital Caplan, The Evanston Patch
Published: May 19, 2014
Nearly fifty Evanston and Skokie youth, parents, and community members attended Y.O.U.’s “Discovery Night” on May 14th to celebrate the young people that participated in the Explore career mentorship program. Individuals walked throughout the rooms of Northwestern University’s John Evans Alumni Center listening and viewing the interactive presentations youth prepared detailing their experiences and growth in the industries they shadowed.
By taking part in the Explore program, youth worked directly with a business mentor in their workplace and learned of the soft and hard skills necessary to succeed in these new environments. Youth explored specific careers paths such as technology management, communications organization, and restaurant ownership. Participating businesses included Acquirent, Evanston Capital, Burtch Works, Peapod, Found and Chalk Boutique.
The night concluded with a formal presentation where youth, mentors and families shared how the Explore program impacted them. Found restaurant owner Amy Morton said that her only regret was that the program was too short and that her time with King Lab 8th grader Eric Cadet was “motivational, inspirational and so incredibly fulfilling.”
The feelings were reciprocated when Eric spoke of his time in the Explore program, directly addressing Amy in speaking to the ways that his experience opened his eyes to the culinary world and the hard work and perseverance needed to run a successful business. However, Eric said that he will remember the relationships the most.
“One of the most memorable things about Found was that from the first day, it felt like the staff was a family,” Eric said. “So when I started working with Amy, it felt like I was home.”