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Take Five with Ryan Becker

Take Five gives readers an inside look at the key initiatives and programs happening in our Clubs and the people that lead them. We look forward to showcasing our team and creating awareness about the impact we are making on youth in Pinellas County and beyond!

Why is the Future Leaders program important to the community as a whole?

The Future Leaders Program is important to the community because it helps build confidence within our youth to feel empowered in their futures with career identification and skills building. As these youth continue to grow and make a positive impact within our community, they will be able to help pass along those same great values to the youth they will inevitably impact as well.

How is the Future Leaders program making an impact on teens?

The Future Leaders Program is helping teens with important skills building for future employment, resume building through an active summer job working at our club sites, and helping the teens identify what their desired future career paths could be through intentional career exploration activities and field trips.

Who is the ideal partner for the Future Leaders program?

An ideal partner for the Future Leaders Program would be a community partner who believes they can support the continued development of any youth’s skill building and journey to identify what their desired future career path could be. This can come in the form of in-club career exploration activities, hosting on-site career exploration field trips to their facilities, or general funding to help support any type of career exploration programming.

What makes you most excited about the Future Leaders program

What makes me the most excited about the Future Leaders program is helping serve youth in a way that they relate to, and when they can see tangible outcomes that positively impact their future career aspirations. From hands on skills building through working with our Club Staff at their designated club site, to on-site field trips with community partners to help open the youth’s eyes to careers they may not have known were interesting before.

How many teens have benefitted from this program?

In the last 2 years, we have helped support over 100 youth in the Future Leaders program.

What are the immediate short-term goals for Future Leaders?

The immediate short-term goals for our Future Leaders program is to help support early financial literacy by providing a $15-an-hour payment for our youth, helping expose these youth to as many different career opportunities as possible, build their resumes through real-life on-the-job experience working within our club sites, and immediate skills building through the soft skills we teach throughout the program.

What are the long-term goals for Future Leaders?

Long-term goals for the Future Leaders program is to have this be the launching pad for any BGCS youth who wants to partake in exploring what their future careers can be, and as a great pre-requisite to our apprenticeship offerings with local community partners, such as Bank of America and BayCare Healthcare Systems.

What was your favorite summer experience with Future Leaders this year?

My favorite experience with Future Leaders this year was watching one of our Club Members, Sanai take part in our career exploration field trip to CP Communications. After having conversations with Sanai about her interest in the marketing/social media/production space, we were able to offer her an apprenticeship directly with CP Communications to complete her summer programming.

What is one thing you would add to elevate this program?

With adequate funding, we could add two different “tracks” youth can opt-in to for both what careers they would like to explore that summer, AND college tours to those in the state that offer continued education for supporting the youths journey in entering these career areas. This would take a continued push for quality community partners who would like to participate, as well as colleges and universities for trips to both.

How can individuals or companies help enhance the Future Leaders program?

The biggest help for individuals and companies to enhance programming would be open partnerships for summer exploration field trips to take youth, as well as a year-long consistent commitment for these community partners to help us bring in-club programming that is intentional in skills building for their industry. While we appreciate all partnerships, it is imperative that partnerships are meaningful and consistent so they stay top-of-mind with you and trust can be formed for continued buy-in.

What are you most looking forward to next year with this program?

I am most looking forward to any and all enhancements we can make through youth feedback and our Youth Advisory Board. We view all programming as a learning experience and are always looking for ways to make any programs more impactful for youth not only I the near term, but what that means for their future development as well. This will include things such as the roll-out of in-program certifications with joint community partner programming and support.

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