Rewarding Results, by Carmen Tovar

Through my work, I deliver knowledge and experience in developing, managing, and implementing work-based learning programs for youth, with a focus on career preparation and life skills.

With the implementation of work-based learning activities in high schools’ small learning communities (SLC) and Career Technical Education (CTE), I have had the opportunity to connect with youth, teachers, and industry professionals. Doing so through projects involving Workforce Development Boards such as Pacific Gateway and the Southeast Los Angeles County (SELACO) WDB. In 2014, I managed and implemented a career exploration and internship program with various local school districts. I connected students with industry professionals to learn about career opportunities, participate in facility tours, and connect to local internships.

In 2019, I supported and led youth through 20 hours of paid Personal Enrichment and Work Readiness Training (PET) to strengthen their Workplace Intelligence (WQ). For this project, I organized and administered monthly performance evaluations to better understand students’ strengths, and recommended resources for improvement. Upon completion of the program, interns participated in a showcase t0 share their projects with friends and family.

There are times when I run into these students within my own community. These encounters reveal the growth they have experienced after all these years; some entering into the fields they were mentored in, such as computer science. Each interaction reinforces the importance of having mentors as these experiences are a foundational part of their careers. This is why I have become an advocate for work-based learning activities.