The Second Successful Year of Summer RISE
When Kristin Trible, WSM’s director of community engagement, started in January, she began the great task of coordinating the 2018 Summer RISE program with the support of Montgomery County Public Schools. In a few months’ time, she was able to help place hundreds of students at workplaces across the county. Read her review of this year’s program:
This summer, more than 350 high school juniors and seniors successfully completed a 3-week career experience at one of 190 participating sites throughout Montgomery County. The Host organizations represented the private, nonprofit, and public sectors.
The Summer RISE program requires a great deal of coordination by our hosts and is an effort we truly appreciate. Dedicating staff to oversee Summer RISE students, developing a rigorous and informative experience, and even ensuring a work space for temporary “employees” are just some of the components. This doesn’t even include the communication and generational hurdles to overcome with students often less than half their host’s age. So, why do companies sign up for this great feat?
Take a look at the overwhelmingly positive feedback from hosts at the completion of Summer RISE 2018:
- “Our student was amazing. We love training students and enjoy giving them their first professional opportunity.”
- “We really enjoyed having a young, enthusiastic student around to give us new ideas and a fresh perspective.”
- “Youthful energy made everyone else more energized. The students made our college workers work even harder so they would not look bad.”
- “I believe we are all grateful for the opportunity to make a positive impact on a young person.”
- “Loved watching our intern grow and learn. This is our second year participating and I was so impressed by their growth and willingness to learn and grow.
- “What I liked most is the positive impact that the student and I had on each other.”
Not only were intrinsic rewards present, there were also tangible rewards. Our Summer RISE students made valuable contributions during their 3-week stay. From administrative tasks (a needed lifelong skillset) to data analysis, our students tacked a variety of tasks. Here are just a few of the contributions Summer RISE students made according to their hosts:
- “Our students provided thoughtful suggestions and solutions regarding corporate communications/branding and website usability.”
- “Our student was given assignments to create documents from notes and research websites for relevant content. His performance was outstanding.”
- “Our student assisted with Spanish translations, inputting data in Excel, typing, coping, archiving….Time was too short as other projects would have been assigned.”
- “Our student helped us complete a project that we’ve wanted to do for several months but didn’t have the time or capacity to complete.
- “Because of our student’s research, there are now internal discussions surrounding her findings that may eventually impact the overall work in our office.”
- “Our student analyzed data, created infographics, and formulated recommendations based on the data. His report was of the same quality I would expect from an adult staff member. I was blown away by the quality of his project.”
Bottomline: Never underestimate the contributions a high school student can make to your staff and organization. We are happy we were able to build lasting relationships between hosts and students and received responses like these:
- “Our student has decided to continue beyond the Summer RISE time period.”
- “Our student will return in the fall as a volunteer.”
Thank you hosts and partners again, for opening doors for our future workforce!
Want to see Summer RISE 2018 students in action? Take a look at this feature by County Council Media!