Working toward bright futures

Devon Ek poses for a picture with the other draftees to the Thomson Reuters team.

Four E3STEM  students will receive valuable corporate work experience through Genesys Works

Four E3STEM students received fanfare and thunderous applause as they were drafted on to elite teams. In this case it was corporate teams and no jerseys were donned but the event, hosted by Genesys Works, will no doubt change the trajectory of these young students’ lives.

For the next year, Sulekha Kilas, Devon Ek, Yasmin Hirsi and Jashawn Pryor will participate in the Genesys Works program. The non-profit program helps underprivileged high school students by enabling them to work in meaningful internships at large companies and organizations.

Post-Secondary E3STEM Program Manager Kristy Kellogg said Genesys Works makes a big deal of the drafting process and the students walk away with a real sense of pride. The students then spend the next year getting meaningful work experience with the business in which they have been placed. The students work part-time and can make up to $10,000. The has more than 55 business partners in which it places students.

Over the summer, the students completed an eight-week intensive training program that prepared them to work in a professional setting. Dan Nguyen, a DCTC student in the Network Administration program, worked as a trainer for Genesys Works.

Kilas will spend the year with Ecolab; Ek with Thomson Reuters; and Hirsi and Pryor with Uponor.

The program has experienced success in a number of areas. According to Genesys Works, 100 percent of its students have been accepted to college. Of those 97 percent enroll in college. Lastly, 74 percent have graduated or are still enrolled.

Kellogg said the Genesys Works program compliments the work that E3 STEM does well.  E3 Stem provides exploration, education and employment in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. The program is part of the Department of Labor Youth CareerConnect grant that advances STEM education and helps close the skills gap in the state.

E3 STEM is a partnership between Independent School District 196, Dakota County Technical College, Inver Hills Community College and business and industry executives.  The E³ STEM program targets occupations in computer science and information technology (IT), engineering, healthcare, and BMET consisting of biomedical technology, energy technology and nanoscience technology. The program serves students in grades 10 through their first year in college.