PYO June 2015 Newsletter

Dear PYO Community,

Here is what has been going on lately:

During PYO's spring quarterly meeting in May, mentors gathered on a Saturday morning to continue training with James Johnson

From left to right: Kirsten W., Ingrid H., Brianna R., Caroline B., Brent C., and James Johnson.

During PYO’s spring quarterly meeting in May, mentors gathered on a Saturday morning to continue training with James Johnson (bottom right), executive director at the Salvation Army’s Boys and Girls club and CEO of Life Strategies Solutions, a local mentoring training organization. Mentors discussed helping students understand their purpose and worth and the legacy that mentors eventually pass on through mentees.

Prepping for Success: PYO Students Finish Yearlong Internships

Zubair S. checks labels on equipment bottles at Duke's Ob/Gyn lab.

Zubair S. checks labels on equipment bottles at Duke’s Ob/Gyn lab.

Yearlong internships are currently wrapping up as the school year ends and a new cohort of PYO students enter the summer career academy. Of 18 students who participated in last year’s summer career academy, each received an opportunity to work either a summer or school-year internship or a job they found on their own.

PYO student and Riverside High School senior Zubair S. has successfully completed an internship at Duke Obstetrics and Gynecology. Like each PYO internship, at the start of his, Zubair and his supervisor, Dr. Friederike Jayes, set several goals that he hoped to achieve during his experience including learning how a scientific lab operates, becoming a more effective communicator and fitting in well with “diverse” work environments. His duties at the lab included sterilizing and checking on equipment and completing Hipaa training. Each student that successfully completes an internship receives references for their next job. In regards to his internship, Zubair said it helped his “resume become more extensive.”

Zubair is now gearing up for a full-time summer job at the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center in Chapel Hill. Graduating this month, he is prepared to begin studies at UNC-Greensboro this fall.

PYO Seniors Graduating from DPS

T'Asia B. graduated from City of Medicine Academy and will attend Durham Tech this fall.

T’Asia B. graduated from City of Medicine Academy and will attend Durham Tech this fall.

High school graduations are a big deal around PYO and each year staff, family members and mentors look forward to our student’s big day.

Although this is a joyous time, it is also a sad time as we know our days with these graduating students are numbered. Each of our seniors took full advantage of services PYO provides including tutoring, testing prep, internships and more.

While these ten students will soon begin their exits from the program, we have ten more spots that have been filled by incoming students who will begin participating in summer intensive and summer career academy training later this month.

Aniyah M. also graduated from City of Medicine Academy and will attend UNC-Greensboro this fall.

Aniyah M. also graduated from City of Medicine Academy and will attend UNC-Greensboro this fall.

In the meantime, PYO is proud of our graduating seniors:

  • T’Asia B. graduate of CMA and will be attending Durham Tech
  • Aniyah M. graduate of CMA and will be attending UNC-Greensboro
  • Joshua T. graduate of Jordan High and has an offer from Queens College
  • Zhana T. graduate of Hillside High and will be attending Durham Tech
  • Samantha T. graduate of Southern High and will be attending Durham Tech
  • Zubair S. graduate of Riverside High and will be attending UNC-Greensboro
  • Emmanuel J. graduate of Riverside High and will be attending Morehouse College
  • Ham S. graduate of Northern High and will be attending Durham Tech
  • Li P. graduate of Jordan High and will be attending Durham Tech
  • Antonio C. graduate of DSA and will be attending East Carolina

Congratulations all and thank you for being model PYO students helping to show younger students paths to opportunity. Best wishes in your future endeavors!

PYO Legacy Student Graduates DERC

From left to right: Durham Tech Career Readiness Certificate Program Coordinator Candace Rashada, DERC CEO, Jackie Brown, DERC Graduate Tierra T. and County Commissioner Brenda Howerton.

From left to right: Durham Tech Career Readiness Certificate Program Coordinator Candace Rashada, DERC CEO, Jackie Brown, DERC Graduate Tierra T. and County Commissioner Brenda Howerton.

The Durham Economic Resource Center (DERC) program, based near downtown Durham, recently held its latest student graduation at the Durham Center for Senior Life. This program aims to assist young adults within our community with workforce development skills and job placement.

Over a period of six months, the students had a variety of skill building workshops at Durham Tech, Lyon Park and other locations. “Roots for Success” course, resume building, customer service and learning about environmentally friendly jobs were some of the workshops that were memorable and enjoyable for DERC graduate Tierra T.

Tierra said that she found out about the DERC program while participating with YO:Durham, the youth organization that merged into PYO, and liked that DERC was a paid program and “they also help people get employed.” Tierra said her least favorite part was moving heavy boxes, but she enjoyed working with the jewelry and if given the opportunity, she would do the program again.

Summer Fishing Continues

This summer PYO students, staff and mentors have been taking trips to a quiet fishing spot in rural Granville County.The idea was first brought up by PYO students interested in the idea. For many of the students, it is their first time fishing and it takes them some time to get used to the environment.

PYO Fishing Mentor PYO Fishing Holding A Fish PYO Fishing Holding The Bait

“I like the quiet, but not the bugs”, said PYO student, Melisha N. who caught several small brim during her first fishing trip. “It was fun, though.”

PYO mentor Abbie H. agreed calling the the outing “great” and “super fun.”

These trips are a great way for students to get outdoors and engage in a new experience with each other and their mentors. The goal is that everyone enjoys the fresh air, learn some patience and keep in mind how important it is to take care of community and the environment.

June Mentoring Relationship Spotlight

Mentoring and mentors have always been a significant component of Partners for Youth, YO:Durham and now PYO. The stability, understanding and guidance mentors can provide teenagers is invaluable and this summer, PYO will highlight several mentoring relationships within the organization.

Diana C. and Abbie H.

Diana C. and Abbie H.

This month we place the spotlight on student Diana C. and her mentor Abbie H., a health workforce program operations specialist and Ph.D student at UNC-Chapel Hill. What follows is a testimonial courtesy of Abbie.

“In 2013 I was preparing to move to Durham and wanted a way to connect with the community for the long haul. After Googling around a bit, I stumbled across PFY. I thought it would be great to be able to stick with a kid from middle school through graduation and onto high school (if possible!)

In January 2014 I was matched with Diana– and we have been together ever since! We are both outgoing and quickly connected but it did take a few months to feel like the relationship was really solid. We may not see each other every month but we text pretty regularly to keep up with each others lives. When we do see each other face to face we visit museums, walk to the farmers market, cook together, etc. We keep a small note book of our adventures. I keep trying to convince her to try rock climbing but I haven’t been successful… yet 🙂

Diana’s mom has been incredibly supportive and a great asset to our partnership. She makes me feel really welcome in their home. Sometimes if Diana isn’t returning my text messages I’ll even text her mom and Diana and will respond within minutes. My husband and I attended Diana’s Quinzaenera in August 2014 and loved spending time with her family and meeting all of her friends. Diana and I also cooked lasagna and hosted a dinner party for my family. It was awesome.

I think Diana is one of the coolest 15-year-olds I’ve ever met. And I’m not just saying that. She’s hilarious and stubborn. She surprises me with what grosses her out (vegetables) and what doesn’t (fishing). She is also really intelligent. She keeps me up to date on her progress in school and tells me that she dreams of entering a career in healthcare. I’ve tried to be really encouraging and help seek out opportunities because I know she will be an awesome nurse, doctor or midwife.

— Abbie H.

Newsletter Written By Alexus Monds, PYO communications intern and UNC-Chapel Hill senior.
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Partners for Youth Opportunity  
1309 Halley Street
Durham, NC 27707 USA

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