Brooklyn, NY – On Friday February, February 27, 2015, over 50 trainees from Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow’s (OBT) most recent Young Adult Internship Program (YAIP) cycle were honored at an awards ceremony held at the Bedford Presbyterian Church in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Participants, OBT staff, employers and the greater community came together to celebrate the completion of the program and the participants’ achievements and growth over the past three months. YAIP is a 14-week job readiness and paid internship program, funded by NYC Department of Youth and Community Development.
Chief Program Officer, Annie Norbeck, welcomed the attendees by acknowledging that not only did participants successfully complete the rigorous 14 week YAIP program, but also rose to the occasion by adhering to the strict program requirements including the professional dress code and strong emphasis on punctuality. However she acknowledged that the efforts go along way towards building determination and self-confidence in youth. She further expanded, “Success doesn’t come easily for anyone and YAIP works to teach its trainees that a little extra effort such as these goes a long way.”
Several participants spoke about their experience throughout the event. One participant Quinnelle Randolph who interned at Brooklyn Navy Yard and was recently hired as a full time employee at FSO Outsourcing Solutions spoke about how YAIP taught him lessons about himself as well as how to succeed in a career. “Every day in the program I was learning new things about myself and what I wanted to do with my life,” he said “I will never forget the most important lesson from my teacher Ms. Neverson, who said, ‘Don’t let your off day be anyone else’s on day’ meaning we are each responsible for our own success every single day.” Other student speakers echoed these feelings as well, saying they were now motivated to take the next step in their lives – something that they never thought of just a short time ago.
The event’s featured speaker was Colvin Grannum, President at Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration who gave a speech on the ten pieces of advice for a successful future. Afterwards, several awards were given out for achievements and exemplary performances such as perfect attendance, exceptional trainee, most perseverance, and best intern award. Several worksites even presented their interns with their own awards including the Weeks Heritage Museum and the offices of Council Member Reynoso and Council Member Jumaane Williams.
Ms. Norbeck summed up the purpose of her program in her closing remarks. “You should be very proud. You’ve all finished this program, an important first step. Take everything you learned here and apply it to the next thing you do.”
Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow is a 501(c)(3) organization that helps disadvantaged youth and adults recognize their own self-worth and advance towards self-sufficiency and financial security through job training, academic reinforcement, improved life skills, job placement, and support services. For more information about OBT or the Young Adult Internship Program visit www.obtjobs.org.