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Job hunters get a boost from young professionals

by on May 01, 2014 9:20 AM

STATE COLLEGE — A group of Centre County job-seekers are now equipped for the hunt thanks to a volunteer initiative of the State College Young Professionals.

In March and April, six adults completed the SCYP Mentors program, which consisted of five weekly sessions that addressed resume and cover letter writing, job search resources and interview skills. The final session, April 21, ended with mock job interviews. Hosted by the Centre County Youth Service Bureau, sessions were led by 11 young professionals, representing fields such as academics, business, nonprofits and government.

Nikki Shariat, SCYP Mentors program coordinator, explained the program.

“As a young professionals group, we wanted to be able to share our professional skills with people who need help finding a job and developing their resumes,” Shariat said.

“I signed up as a mentor because I was looking for a fulfilling volunteer opportunity. I definitely felt that we made a difference and had fun in the process,” said SCYP Mentor, Bill Zimmerman, who works at Penn State.

One of the job seekers said that they “loved the workshops and the group discussions because of feedback in a positive manner.” Another says that she feels “very much more prepared and confident about finding a job.”

Christine Bishop, Family Services Division Director of YSB fully supports the program.

“It was a great opportunity for parents we serve. I loved seeing how the connections developed over the five weeks and how adaptive the mentors were to be able to meet the diverse experience of the clients,” she said.

Graduates of the program received a certificate, the opportunity for free CPR training courtesy of the American Red Cross and an expanded network through connections with fellow mentees and the mentors.

The SCYP Mentors program offered its first coure in fall 2013 through Housing Transitions, Inc. It will resume in fall 2014. Anyone interested in participating in the free program can contact Nikki Shariat at nikki.shariat@gmail.com.

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