Youth Services program seeks high school participants for career mentoring

BRATTLEBORO — Youth Services Workforce Development staff are seeking referrals of youth ages 14 to 17 in need of extra support and career mentoring at Brattleboro Union High School and Bellows Falls Union High School.

Now in its sixth year, Youth Services' Ready-to-Achieve Mentoring Program, known as RAMP, meets once a week after school to connect students with professionals for career-focused mentoring and to encourage them to remain in school and set goals, according to a news release.

Adult mentors join students on site tours at businesses and colleges, serve occasionally as guest speakers, and help participants work on their personal career plans, Susan Lawson-Kelleher, the organization's workforce development coordinator, said in the release.

Careers in the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) are particularly emphasized, but students of all interests are encouraged to apply. Mentors are sought who have an ability to relate to young people who often live in difficult circumstances and who have a willingness to share good job readiness skills that might spark teenagers' interest.

“The idea of RAMP is to help area students to envision a brighter future and then develop the skills and steps to get there,” said Lawson-Kelleher. RAMP meets once a week after school during the academic year at Brattleboro Union High School on Tuesdays from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. and at Bellows Falls Union High School on Thursdays from 3 to 4 p.m.

Attendance is incentivized, with each student earning $5 for each session attended.

“Where else would I get paid to do fun stuff and meet new people while exploring cool careers?” asked Brendan Hodge, a recent RAMP graduate from BUHS.

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