Youth apprentices earn, learn from Hired! program
August 25, 2011
FORT SILL, Okla. -- MacArthur High School junior Kristine Rodriguez-Tosado, 16, spent her summer working as an apprentice at the Post Thrift Store as part of the Fort Sill Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation's Hired! Summer 2011 program.
Her duties included taking in items for consignment and working the cash register.
"It was really fun working there," said Kristine, who worked about 20 hours each week. "It helped me with my socialization skills, and the mentors were very helpful."
Kristine was one of 29 apprentices and numerous mentors from around the post who were recognized for participating in Hired! during an appreciation ceremony Aug. 18 at the Patriot Club.
Kimberly Nevins, Hired! coordinator, thanked the almost 40 mentors and site managers, who served as role models and allowed apprentices to work in their organizations, programs and shops.
"I want to thank you for taking the time to come on board our program and help these teens learn life skills and build their character," Nevins said. "You are truly respected and appreciated."
About 20 organizations ranging from Nye Library to Battle Simulation to Outdoor Recreation to the Field Artillery Museum to the child development centers had apprentices.
The apprentices, ages 15 to 18, were required to perform 180 hours of work over 12 weeks at their job sites. They were paid $500 at the end of the summer term. All of the apprentices completed the program, Nevins said.
During the term apprentices also attended workforce training in areas such as communication skills, work ethics, resumes, bullying at work and money management, she said.
"It was awesome to see how much the apprentices had grown from the start of their job placement to the end," Nevins said.
Brenda Spencer-Ragland, FMWR director, presented certificates to the mentors and apprentices. Mentors are shaping the future by sharing their knowledge with apprentices to help them become successful, she said.
During the ceremony, mentors were invited to speak about their respective apprentices. Yvonne Dougan, Child, Youth and School Services nutritionist, spoke about her apprentice Alexis Haddock.
"She's been absolutely terrific. She's a very hard worker," Dougan said.
Apprentice Jazmine Whited, 17, a junior at Lawton High School, worked at the Patriot Club. Jazmine said the apprenticeship was a maturing process and she recommended Hired! to her peers.
"I really improved on my communication skills," she said. "It was awesome."