Queens Community House Opens Doors and Minds

On February 3, Queens Community House (QCH) partnered with local businesses to host its first-ever Job Shadowing Week, a new initiative designed to expose at-risk youth (ages 16 to 24) to untraditional career paths.

Throughout the week, students toured facilities at Neuman’s Kitchen, Aramark at Citifield, Nike Innovation Lab, and Elmhurst Hospital to gain insight into the varying organizational cultures and to learn more about the educational and technical trainings required of each company’s respective applicants.

“We recognize the urgency in getting our young people exposed to and working in jobs that inspire career aspirations,” says Alexandria Sumpter-Delves, QCH’s Division Director of Youth Workforce.

Studies have increasingly shown that, compared to youth in higher income households, youth from lower income households more often face racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic barriers that prevent them from accessing diverse career opportunities.

“Job shadowing opens new doorways to exciting career paths for at-risk youth and aligns with our vision: that all people in Queens experience equal access to opportunities,” says Ivonne Torres, QCH Associate Executive Director of Young Adult Services.

Participating students say the process gave them a better sense of what to expect at their first job interview and taught them about professional behavior and employer expectations.

The events culminated on February 7 at Queens Borough Hall with an Industry Panel and networking exercises. Eight panelists from varying vocations answered questions and gave advice to students in the room.

Sharon Lee, Acting Borough President and first Asian-American to hold a borough-wide public office in New York City, greeted the students at the end of the panel, offering these last encouraging words of the week.

“I am of the school of thought that it doesn’t matter what title or position we have, it matters what kind of impact we make, wherever we are. So, I’m doing my best to be as visible and as active as possible across the 108 square miles we call home, in hopes that folks of our generation, fellow children of immigrants, might see me and think, ‘If she can be Borough President, I can be Borough President.’ That’s the goal.”


Participating Businesses and Organizations: Neuman’s Kitchen, Aramark at Citifield, Nike Innovation Lab, Elmhurst Hospital, Ambuvet, Spruce, St. John's Episcopal Hospital, Kmia Salon, Legal Aide Society

QCH thanks Assemblyman David Weprin and Acting Borough President Sharon Lee.

To partner with Queens Community House or learn more about QCH’s Youth Employment Services, call 347-571-0000, email youthjobs@qchnyc.org, or visit the office at 70-34 Austin Street, Forest Hills NY, 11375.

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