b'Helping High School Students Prepare for the FutureYouthNet provides local internships to explore career optionsBY ELLEN DONKERKimaya Salaskar of Kimaya Kama, mentored CHS sophomore Tamia Persaud.I ts a big world out there and whentives and are realistic about the abilities of youre a high school student, figuringstudents, many of whom have never held a out a future career or a college majorjob before.canlookimpossiblyhard.WithsoOnce Malloy and Teitelman have their many options, how does one narrowroster of businesses, they will work through them down? Diane Malloy, executivetheCHSguidancedepartmenttomarket director of YouthNet, a Maplewood/ theprogramandgatherapplicationsthat South Orange nonprofit that provides after- ask students about their hobbies, work ex-school programming to teens, thinks highperience, availability and what they would schoolers should have the chance to test outlike to do. This information will help them different opportunities. Its Summer Intern- interview each student to tease out his or her ship/MentorProgramisagoodplacetoAlthough she has connections from past years, Mal- interests start. loy has also built the kind of relationships that comeandavailability Now in its 15 thyear, the program helps studentsfrom raising children and being an integral part of all in an effort gain experience, build a resume, and enhance theirMaplewood for 25-plus years. Still, she and Camillatomatchthem collegeapplications.Intheearlyyears,YouthNetFinch Teitelman, the co-chair of the board of direc- withtheright hostedseminarswiththeColumbiaHighSchooltors, will soon start going door to door to Maple- opportunities guidance department at which businesspeople de- wood and South Orange businessesespecially thecome June. scribed to students what they did for a living. Youth- new onesto describe the internship program andBeforethe Net also arranged to bring students to job sites to seeask owners to envision how they could participate.studentsbegin businesses in action. Malloy says, It progressed asThe pair would like to sign up as many businessestheirinternship, we developed relationships with local organizationsas possible and is aiming for at least 20 by April 1.YouthNetpro-and businesses. These days, YouthNet enlists busi- Last year, 17 businesses provided opportunities forvides them with nesses, nonprofits and government organizations tothe high schoolers, ranging from retailers like Braveseveralwork-carve out opportunities for students to get real lifeFloral and Pet Wants SOMA to the South Orangeshops that coverYouthNet executive director experience in a job setting.Public Library and Kimaya Kama. YouthNet pro- areas such as re- Diane Malloy believes the intern-Malloy is gearing up for another summer programvides the mentoring businesses with an orientationsumebuilding,ship program is a great way for students to be exposed to new and is looking for businesses to sign on as mentors.so they understand the programs goals and objec- networking, andwork opportunities.34/ matters magazine / winter 2023'