Our young people once again had the opportunity to put their professional skills to practice at the annual Job Skills Workshop held at the West Loop Campus on Saturday, February 23. This workshop, sponsored by Mercy Home’s Leader Council, is traditionally known as the kickoff to the summer internship season.

We welcomed dozens of board members and other volunteers to our Home, where they helped our kids practice and prepare for all aspects of getting and keeping a job, including job applications, on-the-job basics, and professional skills, and rehearsed through mock interviews. To put their best foot forward, our boys and girls spent the fall and early winter months preparing with our Career Resources team to practice the job skills they learned throughout the year. And thanks to a generous friend of the Home, our kids were given money to spend on purchasing professional clothing. This allowed them to personally budget for, plan, and select their attire for the day.

The workshop began with two skits from our volunteers that demonstrated both good and bad interviews. The kids then split into four groups and traveled between stations to practice skills one-on-one with volunteers. The workshop mimicked a professional setting as closely as possible, making sure that our kids got the best practice possible!

To conclude the day, everyone enjoyed a delicious meal donated by Billy Goat Tavern before awards were given out for best interviews, attire, and overall showing at the event.

“It was a fantastic day—the youth were really engaged, and they had a great experience,” Katelyn Dollard, Vice President of the Academy, said. “One of the girls said that the day was empowering!”

Katelyn added that the volunteers were key to making the day so special by the attention they gave our kids.

“[They] were incredible; they did such a nice job drawing out the unique strengths and skills of each youth and helping them shine,” she said.

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