TeenQuest to host graduation Oct. 22

FLINT – Hundreds of proud parents and family members will gather Thursday, Oct. 22 to celebrate the 120 students who successfully completed the first TeenQuest session of the 2015-16 school year. The graduation ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. at Riverfront Banquet Center, 1 W. Riverfront Center, in downtown Flint.

Managed by the Flint & Genesee Chamber, TeenQuest is a five-week training program designed to help Genesee County high school students ages 14-19 prepare for business success in the future. Students learn the basics of teamwork, business etiquette, work ethics, communication, goal setting and conflict resolution.

“By the time students finish this program, they have undergone 40 hours of training,” said Rhetta Hunyady, Vice President of Education and Training at the Flint & Genesee Chamber. “They’ve learned everything from the importance of a firm handshake to how to open a bank account. Not only does this prepare them for their first jobs, it positions them as leaders in their classrooms and community.”

TeenQuest is a pre-requisite for employment through the Summer Youth Initiative (SYI), which matches employers with hundreds of TeenQuest graduates for summer employment. An invitation-only job fair for graduates of the 2015-16 TeenQuest sessions who register for SYI will take place in April.

Nonprofit organizations and businesses that hire TeenQuest graduates are eligible to have 50 percent to 100 percent of costs subsidized. Last summer, approximately 350 teens were employed through SYI, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and some for-profit businesses.

The TeenQuest session concluding this week is the first of four sessions held during the 2015-16 school year. The next session will be held Nov. 2 to Dec. 3 at five area locations, including Baker College Academy, Flushing High School, Hamady High School, Kearsley High School and Southwestern Academy.

“TeenQuest is open to all high school students in Genesee County, whether they attend public, private, charter, alternative or home schools,” Hunyady says. “It’s a great way for teens to make new friends and expand their networks beyond their home campus.”

For more information about TeenQuest, contact Hunyady at rhunyady@flintandgenesee.org.

The Summer Youth Initiative is a program that helps Flint-area teens find paid summer jobs. It’s open to students who’ve completed the TeenQuest afterschool program, which provides pre-employment and leadership training to students ages 14 to 19 to help them succeed in college and the 21st century workplace.

In 2014, 630 teens gained experience and a paycheck working for 21 local businesses and agencies.

Both programs are administered by the Genesee Area Focus Fund, a supporting organization of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, with support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

Details: Visit www.flintandgenesee.org/learn/syi. – G.G.

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