Summertime in Hartford is often filled with stories of young people doing the wrong things. But this week, WNPR is taking a look at a summer youth employment program that has Hartford students taking a different path.
Capital Workforce Partners runs a program largely with public money to train, employ, and pay Hartford-area students. In the third in a series, WNPR's Jeff Cohen introduces us to an intern in the IT department at Aetna.
“Mubera Becirovic. I’m from Sports and Medical Sciences Academy, I’m going into my senior year. I was born in Bosnia.”
Becirovic came to Hartford when she was seven. Now she's seventeen. At Aetna, her job so far has been to make sure that the company is prepared for a fire drill.
“I started about three weeks ago. So I update for fire warden lists and I ensure that there’s enough coverage in the atrium and Rogers Building for when we do have a fire drill.”
COHEN: 40 hours a week?
“Twenty five with this internship, but I also have another job. I work at McDonald’s, I’m a crew trainer. I work Monday through Thursday here then Friday Saturday, Sunday. When the manager’s not there, when the truck comes to restock and everything, I become the manager. I run the floor and also the new individuals, I train them. I think it’s great experience. The more I work the easier it becomes in the future. Here, you know, everyone’s people person almost that you meet. In McDonald’s, you have to become a people person.”
“Cheryl Holmes, human resources business partner. Some employers might be a bit more short-sighted in terms of who can we immediately place within the organization, versus looking at individuals like Mubera. What can we do to ready her through her experience here as an intern, ready her for her college experience, and then hopefully return to us as a college intern and then consider employment opportunities."
“Well, I’m going to apply for UConn. I’m going to do Yale. UConn because it’s Division One. Sports are my hobby. Definitely I want to stay in state, I want to get the experience of living on campus. And also visiting home. I can’t, you know, for the sake of my mom.”
“She wants me to be anything I want that will make me happy. That’s what she says. I ask her sometimes that same question, what would you like me to be? Whatever makes you happy.”
To hear the rest of our series on summer youth employment, go to yourpublicmedia.org.