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INDIANAPOLIS — It’s never too early to jump headfirst into the workforce, and TeenWorks, a local non-profit, is making work-based learning a reality and helping young people explore career pathways and learn lifeskills along the way.
Without the program, 16-year-old Lauren Adams' summer plans would be very different.
“Absolutely nothing,” Adams said. “Now that I think about it, absolutely nothing. Just in my room, wishing that I had something to do like this.
Instead, Adams is involved in a program aimed at helping better her future.
“We learn new skills about life, college, and things that will help you move on in the future,” Adams said.
Inside People for Urban Progress, young men and women are taking material from landfills, and are repurposing them to be made into tote bags, purses, wallets, and more.
Nicholas DuVall, TeenWorks president and CEO, said their mission is to propel teens into college, career, and community success.
“They can participate in a couple different programs that we have,” DuVall said. “What you see behind me is actually our six-week summer job program where we allow kids from the Indianapolis and Marion County area to come in and have six-week paid work experience with different non-profits throughout the city.”
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It goes beyond just gaining experience.
“Whether we’re going into college, whether we’re going into the workforce, into the military-the six-week summer job program really teaches them how to show up on time, be a good teammate, have some leadership," DuVall said. "All those things that they can actually take into their next phase of their post-secondary careers or college and make them successful by showing up on time, being great team players, and really having some leadership skills that they’ve been taught here at TeenWorks.”
“For me, I thought this organization was important for me to get out there and show the world, show TeenWorks, what I can actually do with myself and everything I have to offer this summer," Adams said.
TeenWorks offers a number of other programs beyond the six-week summer jobs.