Last month, our blog highlighted National Volunteer Week and all the important work the PANcares philanthropy program takes part in over the course of the year. Putting our talents into action to drive positive impact in our communities, we apply the same strategic and creative rigor to our social responsibility initiatives as we do to any of our client assignments.
Volunteerism, civic engagement and advocacy are the driving forces for creating change and making a positive impact in our communities. Through our partnership with Covenant House, PANcares is able to reach and educate homeless youth as they work towards new career opportunities and get a sense of what they need to succeed and attain their future goals.
For more than four decades, Covenant House has helped transform and save the lives of more than a million homeless, runaway and trafficked youth by offering housing and support services to those young people in need. Through job training and readiness programs, the homeless teens can gain skills in a specific vocation and learn what they need to know about job hunting and the professional world.
The PANhattan office worked with Covenant House to help guide the teens in a relaxed one-on-one setting, discussing their future goals and plans for their career. We worked with the youth to think about and explore ways to reach their long-term career goals by creating a step-by-step plan to help them zero in on actionable steps towards securing employment.
By sharing experiences of our first jobs, we were able to give the teens a sense of where we began and the steps we had to take to grow our careers. By sharing these experiences about our employment journey and lessons learned, we were able to develop some thoughts on how to approach the job interview process for each teen within an industry that excited them. By having the kids expand on their interests, strengths and abilities, we were able to help them explore career options and think about making an informed decision about the future.
Each member of the PANhattan team met individually with the teens to counsel them on what to expect on job interviews and how to present themselves in a calm and professional manner. Topics of discussion included maintaining eye contact, voice projection, poise, posture, extending a firm handshake and how to sell your most important attributes. We all advised on asking informed questions, showing a deep knowledge of the roles and responsibilities within the position and how to follow up appropriately.
One thing we all took away from the experience was the drive and dedication each youth had towards gaining employment and excelling in the field of their choosing. They appreciate the chances afforded to them, the kind work of Covenant House and the volunteers that provide them with the potential for success.
The relationship between PANcares and nonprofits like Covenant House can create a significant change in our community. Helping raise awareness of the troubled youth in our own community and delivering real-world examples of how they can create new opportunities for employment with goal setting and career mapping gives this youth group the structure and guidance they have lacked. This was truly a rewarding experience and we encourage all PAN team members to look into how we can better serve our communities through programs like Covenant House and offer our expertise in some small way to help today’s youth as they strive for a better life.