“Through the program, Ready to Work Fellows have gained hands-on experience managing all aspects of podcast production.” – Dana Smith, BGCB Director and Former Board Chair
Last summer, we published an article announcing the first episode of the Ready to Work (RTW) Podcast: “Expanding Your Horizon.” 12 episodes and one year later, BGCB teens and alumni who have been working on the podcast production team boast an impressive body of work to show for their efforts. Even more impressive, they now possess the skills that come with a year of focused, hard work.
Ready to Work, BGCB’s workforce readiness initiative, is running the RTW Podcast program as a part of its multi-faceted approach to preparing teens for the professional world. “Through the program, Ready to Work Fellows have gained hands-on experience managing all aspects of podcast production,” explained BGCB Director and former Board Chair Dana Smith, who leads Ready to Work alongside BGCB Trustees Lynn Bogle and Jill Inches. “New England Patriots Senior Social Media Producer Mackenzie Knoop kicked us off in such a great way. She brings deep experience from her work with the Patriots and other sports teams and the group learned so much from her. She continues to be engaged with RTW in multiple other ways.”
For some Fellows, this experience translates directly into future career goals and aspirations.
“I’m very interested in digital signal processing,” explained Joakeem, who is an alumnus of Berkshire Partners Blue Hill Club and currently working for the Cambridge-based music production tech startup iZotope. “Working on ‘Expanding Your Horizon’ allows me to keep on my toes and further progress my skills while at the same time fine-tuning the skills I’ve already developed.”
Other Fellows, like Yawkey Club of Roxbury teen Paris, can already see how the skills that they have developed through the RTW Podcast program will translate into other aspects of their professional lives.
“I wanted a way to work on my professional brand, and I knew that improving my public speaking was going to be a big part of getting there,” explained Paris. “Being a part of the RTW Podcast team has not only pushed me out of my comfort zone, but it has taught me how to settle in and get used to being outside of it when I am.”
Oasis, who introduced Paris to the program and is also a member at Yawkey Club of Roxbury, sees ‘Expanding Your Horizon’ as an avenue to use her voice. “I feel like I was put on this earth to inspire people,” Oasis explained. “I have a loud voice, and I appreciate the opportunity to use it on the podcast, and hopefully communicate in a way that motivates others and creates positive change.”
Edgerley Family South Boston Club teen Owen has capitalized on a tremendous growth opportunity through the program that he believes will translate into valuable skills in whichever career he pursues. “When I first began with this program, I was a little bit shy,” he explained, “And participating in episodes has definitely helped me establish myself as a public speaker. These skills will be helpful in future interviews, and will be the foundation of my communication skills throughout my career.”
Yawkey Club of Roxbury’s Teen Director/Program Director Jen Medina has been actively involved as well, working closely with Fellows throughout their involvement in the program. Jen brings a media background of her own into the process. In college, she studied communications and media and worked at El Mundo Newspaper immediately following her graduation. “My favorite part of my job is being a part of someone’s growth and knowing that I’m making an impact,” explained Medina. “Programs like this, that combine my passion for working with youth with my interest in media, are incredible to be a part of.”
To learn more about Expanding Your Horizon, along with Ready to Work’s many other programs, visit www.BGCBReadytoWork.org.
The mission of Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston is to help young people, especially those who need us most, build strong character and realize their full potential as responsible citizens and leaders. We do this by providing a safe haven filled with hope and opportunity, ongoing relationships with caring adults, and life-enhancing programs.