Marian Wright Edelman once said, “You can’t be what you can’t see.” At Girls Inc. each summer a group of 40 to 50 high school girls goes into some of Orange County’s premiere corporations and organizations to “see what they could be”.
Before heading out to her “on the job experience” each girl receives at least 70 hours of training via monthly workshops during the first half of the year and a full week at the end of June. All of the groundwork takes place on local college campuses before placements in July. Girls participate in hands-on and interactive activities to develop hard and soft skills that improve their confidence and add necessary tools to their career exploration tool belt. A parent from the 2017 Externship Program said, “This program has made my daughter aware of many other career choices and opportunities. It has taught her about the importance of networking for professional purposes. It has also taught her confidence to pursue careers she is more passionate about.” Examples of these workforce readiness and confidence boosting activities include mock interviews, career panels, leadership training, teamwork building, and communication skills development.
Valeria, a Girls Inc. graduate said, “My Mom worked long hours and took on taxing jobs to overcome our financial struggles and to present me with a brighter alternative than the one she experienced growing up. Since my mother was unable to continue her studies, she did her best to give me the education she never had. Through the Girls Inc. Externship Program, I externed at Allergan, a pharmaceutical company, and gained clerical skills and through the robotics Camp, I learned more about computer programming. My world expanded as a result of Girls Inc., I have become more assertive in reaching my goals and upholding my values.
My Mom worked as a custodian for most of her life. At sixteen, the same age my Mom started cleaning – I was offered the chance to try something new, a different career path. At Allergan, as an extern in the Human Resources Department, I gained skills I had never been exposed to, such as corporate management, public speaking, and advanced computer skills. I filed important documents, created surveys, took inventory, made graphs, and worked with a diverse group of professionals.
As a result of my Girls Inc. Externship, I realized the importance of pursuing a career that acknowledges my creativity and knowledge, not just my physical strength. I have a choice in determining the direction of my future, something my Mom didn’t have. I now see that by insuring a better future for myself, I inspire my Mom to envision a brighter future for herself, too.”
Girls like Valeria are given this valuable experience because of strong community support. One of the program hosts said, “I think the program is wonderful, I wish I personally could have had that experience at that age. I was pleasantly surprised by the professionalism and maturity that I saw in both of my externs. I think Girls Inc. did a great job at prepping the girls to be ready for this type of challenge.”
Girls Inc. would like to thank the following 2017 Extern Placement Sites:
Caduceus Medical Group – Yorba Linda
Caduceus Medical Group-Laguna Hills
Coast Community College District
Coastline Community College
Commerce West Bank
Data Trace Title
Girls Inc. Eureka!
Global Benefits Group
CSUF Grant Central Art Center
Golden West College
OC Human Relations
Orange Coast College
OEM Materials & Supplies
Rehrig Pacific Company
Rutan and Tucker
Shlemmer Algaze Associates
Squar Milner, LLP
The Dot Corporation
The Renewed Company
A special thanks to Macy’s for the shopping day and workshop.