Fort Belvoir’s Child, Youth & School Services Youth Center’s Hired! Apprenticeship Program is a 12-week term program designed to develop, train and place youth at work sites with mentors around Fort Belvoir.

Fire marshal John Weaver has found Hired! to be a great program and a tremendous asset to the military community.

“The program allows youth to find out about careers by taking them through the various aspects of each job and develops their interest and abilities through work force training,” Weaver said.

Two successful placements in Fort Belvoir’s Hired! program are Chelsea Stephens and Rosabel Loya.

Chelsea Stephens chose Van Noy Library because she can’t remember a time without books, reading and volunteering at libraries as she was growing up.

Stephens, 18, recently opened a new chapter in her life by participating in Fort Belvoir’s Hired! program by completing two, 12-week terms as an assistant at Van Noy Library. Her participation in Hired! has led her to her current part-time position.

Stephens primary duties initially were helping patrons at the information desk and finding and recommending books and resources. She found the personal contact to be the best aspect of the job.

“I found myself and strengths as I learned more about the library and its programs.

I am now able to initiate conversations and have more confidence,” said Stephens.

The home-schooled Stephens credits her parents for surrounding her with books as a child leading to her love of the written word, new ideas and creativity.

Roben Closs, youth services manager, recognized that creativity from displays Stephens created and gave her the summer reading program guidelines. From that Stephens designed a program with clues, codes, questions, intrigue and puzzles for the more than 500 readers who signed up.

‘The confidence that I found through working in the Hired! Program at the library, I know will help me in the future,” said Stephens. Stephens received the book All the Places You’ll Go, by Dr. Seuss from her parents after graduating from home schooling this spring and will attend George Mason University on a full scholarship.

“The world better watch out for her, she will be changing everything with her level of energy. There is no limit to her creativity,” said Katie Buxbaum, Van Noy circulation manager.

Sixteen year-old Rosabel Loya’s interest in helping people as a possible career led her to apply to the fire department for her Hired! apprenticeship.

“Learning how to adapt and relate to others in a new environment has been the biggest eye-opener for me. It has helped me become more outgoing, more open to different people and ideas,” said Rosabel.
Rosabel finds the internship both physically and mentally challenging with the heavy gear, memorizing truck components, various tools and technical aspects.

“There is an intensive amount of training that these firefighters go through. The knowledge they carry about equipment, and how they approach each emergency situation, whether it is a fire or medical emergency, is tremendous,” Rosabel said.

Whether she ends up in fire services field or not, Rosabel has been able to incorporate this job knowledge for her future.

“I feel that this has made me become more prepared to go out there and live life, do what you want to do and achieve any goals you might have,” said Rosabel.

Page last updated Thu July 28th, 2011 at 16:05