YouthForce Intern Ivan Excels in Professional Opportunity with Thrive Communities
2020 has been a challenging year for so many, but the YouthForce team would like to share a wonderful success story to close out the year. Ivan graduated from Rainier Beach High School in June and was accepted into our summer internship partnership with Thrive Communities. When our students and youth were looking for an engaging internship experience, Thrive truly stepped up and became an ideal, intentional partner for our interns while creating a safe, supportive, and career oriented environment.
What started out as an internship has now turned into a full-time Maintenance Technician job with great benefits! We recently caught up with Ivan to check-in since starting his job. “Things are getting smoother every day as I get more comfortable with the buildings and my maintenance duties… This job has truly inspired me to become more mature, learn patience, and to never give up even if I’m frustrated and tasks are hard,” said Ivan. “My favorite thing about the job would definitely be my work crew and my team. They make things flexible, we get along, have fun, but the most important thing is that we always get the job done.”
The internship turned job with Thrive has also made a big impact outside of work. “This opportunity changed my life. My financially situation was helped tremendously. It allowed me to become more of an adult and I pay for my own living space, supplies, and food at home for the family. I just enjoy being more responsible.” Ivan also is looking forward to using his vacation days after the pandemic, saying, “I want to travel. Maybe to Las Vegas. Somewhere warm. I’m just so excited to travel!”
Ivan continues to credit Joey, the Jack Apartments Maintenance Supervisor, who managed and mentored multiple interns with true enthusiasm, intentionality, and leading by example. “The internship was very beneficial not just for the interns, but also to myself. I have a passion for sharing my life experiences with youth so that they don’t stumble down the same hard road I had to. Not only was I able to train the interns and provide them maintenance skills that will serve them well in their life, but I was also able to give them my story and from that I hope they learned that no matter what happens in life, if you persevere and stay the course, you can and you will come out of the storm and be better for it,” said Joey. “My hopes for Ivan is to one day see him successful. Not my idea or society's idea of successful, but Ivan’s idea of successful. It is my belief that Ivan belongs in a leadership role sometime in the future.”
Asked what guidance he would give to future YouthForce interns, Ivan expressed, “My advice would be to take the leap of faith. You might think it’s not always the right time, but you’ll look back at it and be proud to share your story. Take the leap and explore because you will learn from the experience no matter what.”
From the entire YouthForce team, we’d like to thank Ivan, Joey, Thrive, and all of our partners who empowered our youth this year. It was truly an honor to work with all of you, and we hope for great things in 2021. Happy holidays!