March 2016 News from PYO

Winter weather did not stop these new PYO mentors from coming out early on a Saturday morning to learn more about mentoring and how to better meet the needs of their mentees. Front row from left to right: Jim R., Nicole R., Stacey V., Jeremy R., Michael C. and Robert P.

Winter weather did not stop these new PYO mentors from coming out early on a Saturday morning to learn more about mentoring and how to better meet the needs of their mentees. Front row from left to right: Jim R., Nicole R., Stacey V., Jeremy R., Michael C. and Robert P.

Dear PYO Community,

Here is your update on what has been happening…

PYO Joins ReCity Network

The ReCity Network is based at 112 Broadway St. Suite B. (Courtesy of Rob Shields)

The ReCity Network is based at 112 Broadway St. Suite B. (Courtesy of Rob Shields)

Partners for Youth Opportunity is excited to announce a new partnership with ReCity, a new concept to Durham that aims to “create connections that catalyze the restoration of the city.”

The brainchild of PYO partners associated with Go:Mentor, the mentoring training service, the initiative is headed by Rob Shields, the executive director.

The purpose of ReCity is to help area nonprofits leverage community assets and existing partnerships to facilitate access to opportunities for the area’s disconnected youth. Their goal is to help facilitate the success of Durham’s young people. ReCity should help make it easier for Durham nonprofits, like PYO, to create collaborations that should result in meaningful transformational change in young lives.

ReCity now has a space in town where organizations can have access points to resources for youth and family. The space located at 112 Broadway St. Suite B has conference rooms, a lounge, a classroom, a 100+ seat auditorium with a stage and ample storage.

Other organizations associated with the ReCity network include the YMCA of the Triangle, the Salvation Army, Communities in School of Durham and others.

As partnerships and connections grow, we will keep you up-to-date.

ACT Prep Wraps Up

Susan M. helps high school senior Jem R. finish up his FAFSA application as part of PYO's ACT prep.

Susan M. helps high school senior Jem R. finish up his FAFSA application as part of PYO’s ACT prep.

Since the start of the year, PYO has been helping high school juniors and seniors prepare for crunch time as days run out to complete college applications in time enough for the next academic year.

The organization recognized that there was a need to prepare our high school juniors for the national annual ACT that was given March 1. A majority of PYO juniors took advantage of the opportunity by stopping in at the PYO office to receive one-on-one help with ACT preparation including online studying.

Many students also used this time to continue working on FAFSAs for student financial aid. Most students who took part found the exercise helpful and said they plan to spread the word to friends interested in joining PYO.

Summer Career Training Takes New Look

Interning PYO students and Durham VOICE staff writers Christian L. (left) and Laura C. (right) deliver the community paper to Bishop Arnold Harris, a subject in one of their stories. Student interns use skills, like verbal and written communication as well as teamwork, learned during the summer to help them succeed in internships. (Photo courtesy of Jock Lauterer)

Interning PYO students and Durham VOICE staff writers Christian L. (left) and Laura C. (right) deliver the community paper to Bishop Arnold Harris, a subject in one of their stories. Student interns use skills, like verbal and written communication as well as teamwork, learned during the summer to help them succeed in internships. (Photo courtesy of Jock Lauterer)

Instead of focusing a majority of our professional internships during the school year, we are now scaling back our Summer Career Academy to allow for work time during the summer in the same internships that originally allowed students to work during the school year.

The high school release time is extending until 3:45-4:30 p.m. next year for DPS. That cuts down on the available time our high school students have after school to make it to our more professional internships (law practices, banks, doctor’s offices) that typically close by 5-5:30 p.m.

Instead, now, year-long internships will be an option only for seniors who are getting out of school early (typically 1:00 p.m. for students with enough graduation credits) and summer internships will be available for all high school age groups, with the level of professionalism expected in a job site determined by a student’s skills, interests and the job site’s ability to supervise and mentor a student.

For example, a younger student with no work history may begin in a non-profit placement, whereas a student interested in medicine may work at Lincoln Community Health Clinic.

A new component is our “Career Upgrade” with a goal of moving our students who have found, on their own, low paying, poor quality work environments into jobs with better hourly wages and more resume-worthy experience. We will help 10 of our students update their resumes, identify new jobs and help them transition out of their old jobs into better quality jobs over the course of the summer.

The first part of the new format begins Monday, March 14 and Wednesday March 16 at Lyon Park with summer student orientation.

PYO Financial Literacy Instructor is Woman of the Year

Tolulope Omokaiye, (middle in gold) founder of EVOLVE Mentoring and PYO's financial literacy instructor poses for photos with EVOLVE mentors and PYO students.

Tolulope Omokaiye, (middle in gold) founder of EVOLVE Mentoring and PYO’s financial literacy instructor poses for photos with EVOLVE mentors and PYO students.

Spectacular Magazine’s Woman of the Year Emerging Leader just happens to be PYO’s financial literacy instructor, Tolulope Omokaiye!

Omokaiye, known lovingly to students as Ms. Tolulope, founded EVOLVE Mentoring, a non-profit that prepares young adults and college students for life in the real world. This includes everything from finding a mentor, to learning to do laundry and cook. A big component of her programming is financial literacy, which she shares with PYO students.

Students learn from Omokaiye how to manage savings accounts, understand differences between credit unions and banks and owning healthy spending habits.

Ms. Tolulope was voted by the community as a up and coming leader in the Triangle. PYO and students are glad she is on our team.

Dates to Remember

Mon., March 14
Summer Career Academy Student Orientation
Lyon Park 5:30 – 6:45 p.m.
Parent’s Meeting
Lyon Park 6 – 7:30 p.m.
Wed., March 16
Blue Cross Blue Shield Job Site Visit
1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Summer Career Academy Student Orientation
Lyon Park  5 – 6:30 p.m.
Sat., March 19
Girl’s Group “Homemade Body Scrubs”
Lyon Park 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Sun., March 20
Crop Walk
Begins in front of Duke Chapel @ 1:30 p.m.
Instead of Mentor Outing Day, mentors & students come out and walk with us to fight local hunger!
 
Fri., March 25
Good Friday Holiday (Office is Closed)
Mon., March 28
PYO Spring College Tour through Durham Parks & Recreation
UNC-Wilmington 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Wed., March 30
Summer Intensive Program Orientation
Lyon Park 4:30 – 6 p.m.
Resume Writing for Students Working this Summer
Thurs., March 31
PYO Spring College Tour through Durham Parks & Recreation
UNC-Asheville 7 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
College tours are through DPS and are free of charge but students must register 
 
Text @pyonc to 81010 to sign up for PYO’s text communication! All who sign up for our text communication can opt out of our Robocall system! Please contact Adam if you have any problems signing up.
 
 
Be on the lookout for Julie Wells’ columns, highlighting the importance of youth organizations in the Bull City, in the Durham Herald newspaper the first Sunday of every month!