West Valley kids can add work experience to their resumes, thanks to a new program at the 48,000-square-foot Goodyear Recreation Campus.
Dawn Stipe, recreation coordinator, said GRC University is an opportunity for young adults to give back to their communities, while gaining experience that will prepare them for the workforce.
“It’s basically an opportunity for young adults to gain some volunteering hours here at our recreation campus, as well as prepare themselves to be workplace ready,” Stipe said.
“They’ll be working shifts at the recreation campus as a volunteer, but then also there’s a component of professional development workshops and staff development.”
Stipe said this free program, which begins Jan. 29, is primarily geared toward teens ages 13 to 15, because they’re too old to participate in the youth programs and day camps but too young to work.
“It gives them the opportunity to do something outside of school hours or their summer hours to be involved,” she said. “Also, it does give them a leg up in an interview process to be part of the Goodyear Recreation Campus team and really learn from everyone who works here, both part-time staff and full-time staff, and learn what it takes to really be ready for the workforce when you are old enough to work at places of employment.”
GRC-U participants can work in various roles around the campus, including the welcome center, gymnasium, fitness floor and special events.
“As supervisors, we give the kids some feedback on their work performance, have discussions with them if they’re not showing up for their shift, or do something that’s considered inappropriate or unprofessional,” she said.
“On the other side of it is at the end of the session, they’ll get a letter of completion that they can give to potential employers or to colleges, as well as each of the workshops that we’ll have in the summer.”
In addition to the work experience, the kids will participate in “Lunch and Learn” classes to prepare them for their first jobs and college.
“This will include professional development, mental health, work-life balance classes, financial literacy, resume writing and interview skills,” Stipe said. “Community members who would like to give back and present to these kids are more than welcome to reach out to me as well if they have something that they want to mentor and give a Lunch and Learn.”
Applications will be accepted through Tuesday, Jan. 18. Interviews will then be conducted, and 15 kids will be selected.
“Part of the interview process will include feedback on how they did in their interview, what went well, and what to work on in the future,” Stipe said.
Applicants can list their availability to work shifts at the recreation campus. Shifts are available on school nights from 4 to 7 p.m., early release days from 2 to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon or 1 to 4 p.m.
Workshops and shifts will take place on different nights, so all participants can attend.
While only 15 kids will be accepted into the program this January, in the summer, Stipe expects to have up to 40 participants.
“This is our first time through. We just want to make sure everyone has a good understanding of what’s going on and then summer is really the big time for this type of program where kids need to get their volunteer hours and they have more open availability, so we want to gear it up for the summer,” she said.
For information on GRC University or to find the application, visit recreation.goodyearaz.gov.