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New program opens new pathways for young adults

Updated: Dec 21, 2023

CareerPoint recently celebrated the graduation of its pilot cohort on November 16. This new program is for young professionals ages 18-24 to develop career readiness skills, start a job training with a local business, and receive ongoing mentorship to ensure their long term success. In September, CareerPoint officially launched with three participants who grew quickly as a team with program coordinator Lydia Partee and community partner UW Credit Union.


From left to right: Syenna, Torin, Lydia Partee, and Trish

Over the course of eight weeks, Lydia led the three participants through a wide variety of professional development with classroom conversations, team building exercises, field trips, and guest presenters. They covered goal setting, resumes, public speaking, self-care, advocacy, presentations, budgeting, and more. They worked with Takeyla Benton on storytelling from a place of empowerment, RCC Sexual Violence Resource Center on workplace harassment, and toured different UW Credit Union branches. Following completion of the eight weeks, the cohort formally interviewed with UWCU and is working toward an employment path in the finance industry.


“I’m super proud of the cohort,” said Lydia Partee, “The four of us collaborated to build this program together. They will be a part of the legacy of CareerPoint.”


Each of the participants brought their own personality to the program and have discovered career paths for themselves. Torin, an avid learner, wants to combine their analytical thinking with individualized problem solving as a financial specialist or in the IT department. Trish, passionate about her community, wants to specialize in financial literacy and homeownership to empower Black and Brown communities. Syenna, a Legacy graduate and self-starter, thrives with networking and will excel in upper management.


From left to right: Dina Thao, Erin Bykowski, Lydia Partee, Torin, Syenna, Trish

Dina Thao, Talent Acquisition Consultant, and Erin Bykowski, Financial Inclusion and Education Manager, were both instrumental in the success of the first run of CareerPoint. A standout component of all OFS programs is ongoing mentorship, and Erin and Dina are committed to that. “Investing in our community through mentorship and job creation is something we’re proud to continue partnering on with Operation Fresh Start,” said Erin.


Lydia will continue checking in with her participants for the next year to address any concerns should they arise. “I’m so excited to see each of them grow and to continue to support them as they embark on their new endeavors,” she said. For 2024, she is eagerly planning with business partners to expand the career pathways available for young adults.

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