Position: Brand Associate
Employer: Old Navy - Chicago Ridge
Employed: August 2019
On June 16,2019 the Gap Foundation partnered with Youth Job Center to provide the “This Way Ahead” Program for the fifth straight year. This year the program placed over 170 youth from throughout the Chicagoland area in 10 week Internship for youth. This Way Ahead provides youth with a paid internship that coaches them in learning excellent customer service skills that are critical for success in the workplace and can be transferred to a wide range of employment opportunities, allowing youth to continue building on these valuable skills throughout their continued post-secondary career journey.
One young adult named Justin Bonds was actually awarded the opportunity and this is Justin’s perspective on what he says the This Way Ahead Program did for him.
“The This Way Ahead program was truly beneficial to me in regards to my growth, not only as an individual, but as a person in the workforce as well. The managers at our Chicago Ridge store, including Sharonda, Carl, Kristen, amongst many others, showed myself and my associates ways to improve our efficiency as both workers and individuals in a way that few others could. For some, it was their first ever job and a way to break people out of their shell in regards to talking with customers and other associates, and providing the best customer service possible. For myself, I learned ways to be a more sociable and efficient person on the sales floor, something that I still would struggle with at times even with prior Retail experience. I am also so thankful to this program and Sharonda for giving me the opportunity and recommending me for a position in Loss Prevention, giving me a great opportunity to further my work experience and dive into something that could potentially be a career for me. Without this program and the amazing job coach and managers involved, I may not have had the opportunities and knowledge that I gained during these past couple of months”.