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Can a job be more than work?

August 19, 2010

L-R: Augsburg College student Mallory Carstens, Taijon Ferrell, and All Around the Neighborhood coordinator Maria McNamara.

My name is Taijon Ferrell. I live on the West Side of St. Paul, Minnesota, and I work for the Youth Apprenticeship Project, also known as Y.A.P. It is a program that helps youth make healthy and smart decisions in life. For example, we do a lot of work helping out the community, college prep activities, and learning how to prepare for a job or an interview.

This year I interviewed for and got a job at the Baker Center, where I perform many tasks including running Baker’s clothing exchange, the preschool open gym, and teen group, and working on our curriculum project.

The curriculum writing project aims to guide youth into becoming successful young adults. We are working on a toolkit to help adults help youth with daily life struggles, such as family life, friends, school life, social life, public life, and health.

Our teen group project is a historical project about West Side immigration and how cultures influence the West Side. After we gather all of the information it will then be transformed into some kind of art piece that will reflect all of the research and data. This will be located at Baker Center.

I like this job because it teaches me something new every day. It impacts my community drastically because all my work is focused on community issues. To me, a good job makes change not just in my life but a lot of people’s lives.

Editor’s note: The Youth Apprenticeship Project will host a celebration of 10 weeks of work and learning tonight at Cherokee Heights Park in St. Paul. Youth participants, work site mentors, and others are invited.

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