Investing in Today’s Youth to Become Tomorrow’s Leaders
By Clint Creado, Senior Vice President and Director of Business Banking, Citi, Los Angeles Metro Area July 30, 2015 11:45 AM
My experience volunteering for the ServiceWorks program with Pathways to Progress was a natural and fulfilling extension of my commitment to work with high school kids – something I’ve done for many years both as a mentor and teacher. I truly believe in the Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress concept – that we have a duty to invest in today’s youth who will be tomorrow’s leaders.
ServiceWorks is a national program that uses volunteer service and civic engagement to help young people develop leadership and workplace skills, while enabling them to build their professional networks and connections to the community. Over the course of two months, I spent my time volunteering as a “Skills Trainer” and was responsible for delivering curriculum to 75 students on topics ranging from work ethic and communications, to relationship building, problem solving, and interview preparation. During these workshops I used personal experiences to bring the lessons to life and to connect with the audience. I use experiences ranging from the previous jobs I have held, to interviews that I have had, and my overall career progression. I emphasized that we all have to start somewhere and they should not be afraid of failure - the price of one “yes” is a whole bunch of “no’s”.
The youth I have helped to coach are like sponges for information and extremely engaged during the mentoring sessions. My work with ServiceWorks has made me realize the great need for programs like this. Often times what we take for granted could be stumbling blocks or areas that may be challenging to a teenager.
I believe that leaders need to give back in order to help enhance the communities where we live and work. It was not long ago that I was the one being mentored on many of the same issues that youth today are facing.
Programs like Pathways to Progress that address youth career readiness are critical for today’s youth. In today’s job market, any and every little nuance that could further a young person’s prospects of being gainfully employed in the future is a great help.