By Taji Brown

Over its 31 participating years, the Asian Resources Inc. (ARI) summer program has aided endless amount of youth seeking employment. Without this program there would be countless unemployed citizens, resulting in free time that would probably be utilized for crime, unproductive accounts, and disturbance to society. My name is Tajii Black and I am a senior attending Inderkum highschool.To this day I am still filled with gratitude that I out of hundreds of hopeful youth had the opportunity to partake a position in this program. Throughout this course, not only have I amplified as a person by becoming more confident, persistent, and outspoken, but I took away skills that would be difficult to acquire elsewhere. I’ve also gained skills involving team work, resume building, interview techniques, and working better with people. This ARI summer project builds up life long readiness, not just temporary.

Working with this program I got the chance to work at the Robert’s Family Development Center for some weeks. Working here was my first real, constructive, working experience and I luxuriate in every moment I was employed there. My problem solving expertise developed a great deal. Of course when working in a day camp with over a hundred kids, new staff can’t always be watched over. Sometimes I had to deal with the two kids in an occasional fight or an upset child crying. I had to improvise in these situations and take from my previous learning experiences and establish a solution. There would be challenges where because I was new and young, some of the kids didn’t respect me as much, but I realized that I had to take the initiative to formulate trust and bond with them like the other employees. At this job I sporadically had to be more of a leader then I was ready for and take charge, in doing so, I emerged in my supervisor’s eyes as more then a teen trying to get the day over with. Rather I was a prominent mentor, eager to face any challenge thrown at me with maturity.
Without ARI summer YEAH youth program, 40 young people including myself would not have been employed this summer. I would have never taken away what I did from this program somewhere else. I would have never obtained the networking skills and connections for future reference. I would have never been offered the remarkable appraisal to work part time at the Roberts Family Development Center even after the program had ended. Overall I am truly fortunate to have had been apart of this incredible program.