This month we are focusing on careers. And what better way, we thought, than to highlight BPL's previous teen volunteers to see what they are doing now. Below we highlight three former volunteers of the Multicultural Internship Program. Haydiya Alexander volunteered at the Paerdegat library, Heidi Rodriguez volunteered at the Walt Whitman Library, and Chyanne Garcia volunteered at the Brooklyn Heights Library as well as the Central Library.
What are you doing currently?
Chyanne: I'm in college, studying to be an engineer.
Heidi: I'm currently attending St. Thomas Aquinas College and studying communications.
Hadiya: Currently I am working towards a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice so that I can have a successful career in the CJ field and make an impact in the Criminal Justice System and the world!
If you’re in school, what is your major or focus?
Chyanne: I'm currently an Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering major.
Heidi: My major is communications, but I go to a liberal arts school so I get a well-rounded, general education. I'm currently taking classes like film appreciation, intro to painting, speech communications, college English and world religions.
Hadiya: I am a Sophomore at the University of New Haven in Connecticut. My major is Criminal Justice with a concentration in Investigative Services. I am also studying to obtain minors in accounting and psychology.
What were some of the things you learned at BPL that helped you in school or at other jobs?
Chyanne: Other human beings aren't always easy to get along with, let alone talk to. However, there is no major or job that doesn't require you to work with other people. My engineering class mainly based on group work and how well we work together so sorry, group work doesn't disappear after high school. Interning at the library taught me patience and how to interact with people you don't know, whether they are patrons or employees.
Heidi: Well, as a MIP you were expected to follow through with all projects and activities you signed up for, it was very unprofessional to leave anything undone. I gained a new level of professionalism, which is key in ANY workplace, field or situation. I also learned to manage my time very well, which is an essential skill in college.
Hadiya: Being a Multicultural intern for BPL taught me numerous skills that I still use today at school and in other jobs. They include communication skills such as public speaking, dealing with diverse groups of people, and working in a professional environment.
Do you have any suggestions for current teens regarding volunteer work, college, and/or career?
Chyanne: Just get involved. You never know if a simple volunteer experience can turn into something more, like an internship or job. It turned into a two part internship for me. Being active and involved will also lead to connections and lifelong resources which will be very helpful in college when you need a recommendation or job.
Heidi: Get started early! Do everything you can and anything that is offered to you so you get an idea of what you want to do. Don't be afraid to sign up for something that sounds weird or you think you wouldn't like it, there's a chance you'll end up loving it! As for college, don't be set on your "dream, target or safety" schools, sometimes where you end up is right where you're supposed to be. I believe that every experience can be a positive one, you just have to MAKE it positive.
Hadiya: ALWAYS STAY POSITIVE! College is a journey with bumps and turns but it's oh so worth it! Stay smiling and stay focused. When it's all done you'll look back and be happy you sent in that application. :)
Thank you, Hadiya, Heidy & Chyanne!
Check out these other interviews of past volunteers as well - Isheta & Ashley and Tiffani & Annette
Do you want to be featured on Teenzone? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested in volunteering with BPL? Find out more here: http://www.brooklynpubliclibrary.org/support/volunteer/