Payday day for students attending Maryville High School who completed their work-based homework assignments.  

The 57 Maryville High School students participated in a program of work-based learning on the morning of Dec. 13th. The program brought many benefits to the school and The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley as well as local businesses through their investments.

In exchange for 12 hours of soft-skills education at Boys & Girls Clubs’ YouthForce University and 60 hours of work experience at local businesses, the students were awarded $576 cash through the Boys & Girls Clubs.

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The training begins with instructions on how to create resumes and applications for jobs, as well as instruction on financial literacy and communication. They are also required to write weekly reflections of what they have learned and receive the results after 20 hours working during their time at work.

Furthermore it is an opportunity to build confidence. Students who completed the internship and received their check the following Monday Katie Roehrs, Blount County YouthForce intern coordinator stated that they “proved to themselves that they were able to set a goal and accomplish that goal.” Roehrs spoke at a ceremony at the highschool that celebrated the students’ accomplishment of their training and receiving their check.

To celebrate the event, doughnuts were served by Richy Kreme. Kids were able to test their flour, decorated doughnuts and created doughnut boxes.

Students worked for businesses like Kroger Marketplace and Dollar Tree where they set up shelves and assisted customers. When I worked in Pet Supplies Plus, cleaning aquariums for gerbils and fish was a regular part of my job.

In addition to placing stickers on products and helping clients, Breeanna Jones as well as Joy Gross were also at Dandy Lions, where they claimed they enjoyed getting to know new people.

Student workers working at Chicken Salad Chick took care of cleaning up the dining room and put up the patio before doors were opened to guests. Students at Aubrey’s restaurant made meals by weighing and packing products prior to opening for customers.

They were able to get hands-on training in their high school’s Cafe Le Reve, which has been offering instruction for more than two decades. They were taught everything from the preparation of food and customer care. Utilizing an instruction session that took place when the restaurant was closed for the day Senior Syll Everett shared that her group cleaned and prepared the area for the next day. “There was a lot of silverware rolled,” she explained.

Syll expressed her appreciation for her work with students who she wouldn’t have had the privilege of meeting at school If the chance had not come along.

One student was not required leave the campus for work experience, since he was able to finish it while helping with computer repairs at school.

YouthForce is, as per Polly Johnson, director of the workforce and education programs of The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley currently serves around 250 students from Blount, Knox, and Claiborne counties throughout the school year because of the funding provided by the Tennessee Valley Commission.

“It would be wonderful if this chance could be extended to further high schools,” she added.

The children are taken to their work locations through Maryville City Schools vans. Because the work is performed in class it is not interfering with other activities that take place after school, or work opportunities.

Based on Catherine Bledsoe, the work-based learning coordinator at MHS Students aren’t driven solely by financial rewards They are instead eager to take advantage of the opportunity. New video game systems as well as assistance in family expenses are a few of the opportunities students have to earn the additional money.

The program is just one of the ways that MHS gives students the opportunity to engage in work-based learning. Around 90 students are supported by Bledsoe each year The school also has a job board for students who are interested in working or volunteering in order to meet requirements for scholarships.

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