February News from PYO

A group of PYO students recently visited UNC-Chapel Hill as part of our tradition of introducing teens to college life. After having lunch at Lenoir Dining Hall, these high school seniors toured the campus, with the help of UNC journalism students, and visited sites including everywhere from the student bookstore to Kenan Stadium. Afterward they sat in on a community journalism class and listened to a lecture on the history, triumphs and challenges of Durham.

A group of PYO students recently visited UNC-Chapel Hill as part of our tradition of introducing teens to college life. After having lunch at Lenoir Dining Hall, these high school seniors toured the campus, with the help of UNC journalism students, and visited sites including everywhere from the student bookstore to Kenan Stadium. Afterward they sat in on a community journalism class and listened to a lecture on the history, triumphs and challenges of Durham.

Dear PYO Community,

Let us catch you up on what we have been doing lately…

Changes Coming to PYO Job Training

Sophomore Diego C. has been interning after school with local attorney Mal King at Crabtree, Carpenter & Conolly, PLLC, law firm on Broad Street.

Sophomore Diego C. has been interning after school with local attorney Mal King at Crabtree, Carpenter & Conolly, PLLC, law firm on Broad Street.

With Durham Public Schools start and end times set to change with the start of the new school year, PYO and employment partners are looking at new ways to ensure students get the most out of their professional-grade internships.

Time changes for the 2016/17 academic school year has most high school students arriving at school at 9 a.m. and releasing at 4 p.m. Traditionally, PYO internships began for most students after school and typically stretch from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. With the upcoming school time changes, it may be difficult for many students to get to work on time and once there, have sufficient enough time to complete tasks.

After talking it over with employers, our board and committees, PYO is taking a new approach with Summer Career Academy by hosting it earlier in the year, mid-June, compressing it from six weeks to two and then allowing students to work roughly 10-hour weeks (for rising 9th and 10th graders) and 20-hour weeks (for rising 11th and 12th graders) for six weeks during the summer. This format should allow students to get plenty of on-the-job training while also providing flexibility with supervisors to assign even more complex and experience-gaining projects to interns while having more time to work with them. There will also be an option for seniors able to do so, to continue interning through the school year.

We will also host “career upgrades” this summer in which rising 10th – 12th graders working jobs outside of PYO will receive individualized attention that should lead them to an improved work environment with higher pay. As part of the upgrade we will also update resumes and submit stellar college applications.

Currently PYO is planning on putting approximately 30 students to work this summer with a host of new placement sites in addition to our traditional ones. Look for more information in next month’s newsletter.

Serving Community on MLK Day

Students work to keep Threshold Clubhouse's property clean. (Photo courtesy of Rob Lamme.)

Students work to keep Threshold Clubhouse’s property clean. (Photo courtesy of Rob Lamme.)

Each year PYO, students and mentors spend Martin Luther King Jr. day serving the community that has spent the past year serving us. While last year found the organization making food plates for Durham homeless, this year students and staff came up with a different concept for civic duty. PYO groups fanned out across the city to work at several different sites including the urban community garden SEEDS, making lunch bags for the homeless and Threshold Clubhouse, a rehabilitation program for adults suffering from severe mental illness.

College Acceptance Letters Keep Rolling In

Late winter and early spring are exciting times for high schoolers. They’re checking their mailboxes everyday to see if any college acceptance letters have been sent their way.

We’re excited to say that three more students have heard “yes.”

Avia, Keonna, and Antoinique (left to right)

Avia, Keonna, and Antoinique (left to right)

  • Avia D. has been accepted to Mary Baldwin College in Virginia, North Carolina A & T and UNC-Chapel Hill.
  • Keonna B. has been accepted to Fayetteville State University and UNC-Greensboro.
  • Antoinique W. has been accepted to and will attend Winston-Salem State University.

Stewards Fund Kicks Off Feb. 14

High school senior Ana O. shares with a small audience of donors what PYO has meant to her over the past couple of years at a recent fall event.

High school senior Ana O. shares with a small audience of donors what PYO has meant to her over the past couple of years at a recent fall event.

Last year, with the help of all our partners, PYO was the recipient of a matching funds grant from the Raleigh-based Stewards Fund Challenge.

Once again we need your help in meeting our goal. The challenge kicks off Feb. 14 and we must raise $25,000 to get the matching $25,000 by May 1st.

In this challenge it is all or nothing!

If you are a donor or have been thinking about donating, this is the perfect time to have the dollars you give stretch even further. You can donate online or mail a check and remember, every little bit counts!

Mentor Highlight

January is recognized as National Mentoring Month and this year, Mayor Bill Bell also designated January mentoring month in Durham.

Laura P. (left) and Juliana H. have been a match for a year. (Courtesy of Laura P.)

Laura P. (left) and Juliana H. have been a match for a year. (Courtesy of Laura P.)

A recent national mentoring report that surveyed young people on mentoring found some interesting facts including:

  • 67 percent of students that had been in structured mentoring relationships longer than a year found it helpful compared to 33 percent who had been in one less than a year.
  • Nearly 9 out of 10 respondents that had been mentored are now interested in becoming mentors.
  • 81 percent of students being mentored are more likely to participate in sports or extracurricular activities.
  • Students with mentors are 55 percent more likely to enroll in college.

At PYO, mentoring stretches into our students lives whether at school, work or in the community, year round. We asked one of our mentors, Laura P., to share her experience with her mentee, Juliana H., over the past year.

“I have been mentoring Juliana since last February and I’m loving every minute of it. Over the past year we have gone on walks, shopped at local thrift stores, visited the Scrap Exchange, walked across the new bridge over I-40 near Southpoint Mall and celebrated Juliana’s birthday by dressing up and going to The Cheesecake Factory!

I am so glad that I get to be Juliana’s mentor. She keeps me young and we help navigate life together by discussing ways to deal with people, emotions and life in general.

Most of all, I enjoy laughing with her. We have so much fun when we are together that I can’t wait to continue laughing together for a long time.”
-Laura P.

If you’re interested in mentoring or know of someone who is, call the office at 919.536.4230.

Sincerely,

Partners for Youth Opportunity

2016-top-rated-nonprofitproud Member

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Get in Touch

Partners for Youth Opportunity  
1309 Halley Street
Durham, NC 27707 USA

Mail : [email protected]
Phone : (919) 536-4230