Our March 7th event was packed with employment and college preparation activities! We were delighted to welcome our friends from Washingtonians for Children, a division of FEDCAP, to our March 7th event at the CFSA building. Also attending was our partner from Sara Start Fund, which serves older foster youth while they are in college. The WFC instructors conducted a fabulous seminar on “personal branding” and how to best present oneself in a variety of settings (for application and interview skills).

The students began by identifying their top eight core gifts from a large list of choice attributes. They whittled their choices down to their top three, then top one gift. One fun aspect of this activity was to have their neighboring peer try to guess one of the gifts before the student called them out. It was nice to see how often the students were correct in choosing a descriptor of each other. Some of the students’ descriptors included: Empowering Others, Building Relationships, Seeing Possibilities, Bringing Joy, and Advancing Ideas. Wow!

From this introduction, the students created a “Company Me, Inc.” and started the branding process. They had to answer several questions about their company and also identify the “Wow” factor that would make their company stand out from all other similar companies. The students did a great job thinking about how their special core gifts strengthened their company to make it competitive and special.

The students then transitioned to another activity creating a “30-second elevator pitch”. In this activity they used a template to write a brief pitch about themselves that described their natural skills and passions, leading to why a person meeting them for the first time would want to meet with them again, assist them with a networking link, or perhaps hire them for their business. Each student shared 1) his/her name, 2) job interest in a particular field, 3) where they are attending school, 4) any classes that are related to the chosen field of work, 5) any related activities, 6) how he/she has developed specific skills naming the top three core gifts, and 7) why he/she would be an excellent employee choice for the listening business person. All of these details had to be articulated within the time it might take to move one floor in an elevator. Having the time constraint forced the students to choose their words wisely and succinctly to deliver a powerful message about themselves.

We all enjoyed our Subway sandwich lunches which filled everyone up again after their delicious breakfast of bananas and juice. Everyone has a chance to catch up socially and relax while we take the midday break. The birthday cake was especially delicious for our March birthday students!

Immediately after lunch, the students began working on resume writing. They wrote a personal summary, elaborated on their education, experience, achievements, volunteer experiences, interests and activities, computer skills, language skills and references. They paired up to assist one another to strengthen their writing skills.

Our students were excited to hear that they have been offered free guitar, voice and piano lessons by two special individuals who are professional musicians at a music arts center. Students who want to pursue individual lessons need to contact Ms. Teresa in order to line up appointments. It is also possible that this generous offer will be available at the summer session at GWU.

They were also encouraged to participate once again in “Pitch in on the Piedmont” on April 25th, 9:00-12:00, at The EDGE Challenge Trail located in Manassas, VA. This is a great way to fulfill community services hours needed for graduation. Please contact Ms. Teresa as soon as possible so that we can forward our team’s names.

We want to thank everyone who made this day so informative and fun. By strengthening our partnerships and links to local resources dedicated to helping our youth, we are confident that our students will continue to prosper and grow as young scholars!