80 Student Interns Wrap Up a Summer of Work and Real-Life Learning

Angel Mungia and Ifeani Ezieme participated in internships that helped inspire them to continue to pursue that field of work.Ideal Youth Celebrates Summer Internships at the Rose BowlIdeal Youth Celebrates Summer Internships at the Rose BowlIdeal Youth Celebrates Summer Internships at the Rose BowlIdeal Youth Celebrates Summer Internships at the Rose BowlIdeal Youth Celebrates Summer Internships at the Rose BowlJulianna Nunez worked at Fong and Aquino Law Firm and discovered her life calling.Kavi Kalutarage shared about his experience with Lockheed Martin over the summer, including getting to work with JPL.Keynote speaker Adaboi Gwacham owner/operator of Chick Fil A E. Colorado inspired the students to keep going after their dreams regardless of life\'s circumstances.Ideal Youth Celebrates Summer Internships at the Rose Bowl

RACHEL YOUNG

1:38 pm | August 22, 2015


Celebrating the hard work of more than 80 students over the summer, Ideal Youth in conjunction with the Pasadena Unified School District College and Career Pathways and the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce showcased those summer experiences in the UCLA Rose Bowl Locker Room on Saturday.

From real experience inside a law firm to being connected to work for the Los Angeles Lakers, the students who participated in the internship programs were able to see a real glimpse into the job they one day hope to have.

More than 50 local businesses partnered with Ideal Youth and PUSD to host the students inside their doors, giving them invaluable behind the scenes experience.

“This is just our way of letting students know that hard work begets rewards and that regardless of what’s said out there with young people they do great things and the hard work that they put in, that they get amazing rewards,” Ideal Youth coordinator Kardia Pinckney said.

Lockheed Martin donated laptops to the new students who participated in the internship program to fully equip the youth to move forward with their careers.

Several community leaders attended the event to congratulate the young people in the summer accomplishments.

“You simply can’t have a successful community unless we invest in our youth. What the young people are able to learn in terms of the understanding the kind of skills necessary to find work and be successful at work, it requires training and effort. We congratulate all the folks associated with this program,” Mayor Terry Tornek said in remarks at the event. .

Juliana Nunez will be a senior this year at Pasadena High School. As an intern at Fong and Aquino Law Firm located on Colorado Boulevard she was able to experience first hand the traumas many immigrants go through and was inspired to help.

“While working at the immigration law firm, it made me very thankful to be here legally. Because of this program I want to become an immigration lawyer,” Nunez said during the program.

She will attend Pasadena City College after she graduates in June this year and then hopes to go to law school.

Seeing his passion for the media and entertainment industry, Marshall Fundamental graduate Ifeanyi Ezieme was paired with Pasadena Media for the summer. He was able to edit film, man the camera, manage the stage, direct, and write scripts.

“It was really nice getting that well rounded experience to help me zero in on what I’m really passionate about,” Ezieme said. “The experience I got this summer showed me this is something I really have to do, something I have to keep pushing for.”

When he went to visit Pepperdine, the school he will be attending in the fall, he said he felt like he already had a head start because he knew how to work all the camera equipment. He received the Posse Foundation Scholarship, a full tuition leadership based scholarship to go to Pepperdine.

These two students along with the 80 others and 283 students who PUSD placed in internships were able to get exposed to the workforce “to see what skill is needed of them, what they should be expecting, and then see if this is a career they’re actually interested in.”

“These programs connect our students to the real world, which is what we try to do through our curriculum,” Chief Academic Officer Shawn Bird said.

Besides the 80 invited to the celebration 283 students were placed in internships throughout the school district with 52 different business partners according to Bird.

Ideal Youth honored three of the businesses who gave offered several internship positions, Darryl Dunn the Rose Bowl General Manager, Levitt Pavilion and Pasadena Weekly.

While 40 of the students knew the Rose Bowl well from their experience of interning in the Concession stands, many of the other students were excited to visit the locker rooms of the Rose Bowl on their first visit to the stadium.

Adaobi Gwacham, owner and operater of the Chick-Fil-A located on Colorado Blvd. near Pasadena City College, gave an inspirational speech to the students about working hard and taking the opportunities before them. She provided a handful of internships because she said someone gave her an opportunity when she was young that she turned into a career.

“What I see in youth is that if you give them the right opportunity and teach them the fundamentals of what it means to work hard, a lot of people don’t look at youth to hire, but for me I look it as an opportunity to help them to become something great,” Gwacham said.

Ideal Youth completed it’s sixth season of providing local under-served, low income Pasadena students with workforce development training and career internships and opportunities. Ideal Youths mission is educating and empowering students through hands-on advanced work force readiness, job shadowing, and entrepreneurship training.