In what is becoming a tradition for the Bedford Stuyvesant YMCA, on Saturday May 7th they hosted their Teen Career Forum. The event allowed nearly 80 students to converge at the YMCA where they enjoyed a panel discussion about entrepreneurial opportunities, a catered lunch, and one-on-one time with influential community leaders.
The forum allowed students to hear first-hand stories of success from medical and legal professionals as well as individuals who have experience in sports, communications, and entertainment. In an exclusive interview with the Brooklyn Reader, Jacynta Garcia , the YMCA Teen Programs Coordinator offered insight into the wealth of opportunities for young adults, age 13-18, in the Bedstuy area.
"There's about three teen programs being run here at the Y, Leaders Club, Teens Take the City, and Teen Center. Some of these programs meet weekly and it's more-so student led and staff supported."
While most teens are hanging out on a Saturday afternoon, the teens in attendance at the career forum seemed interested and intrigued in the knowledge provided by the panelists. Most of the teens who were in attendance admitted that they heard about the career forum from participating in other teen programs at the YMCA. Through the consistency of the programs, these young adults have found a community resource that they trust.
Tevin Sterling (pictured on the left above), a 13 year old young man from Bedstuy was excited to attend the forum and took a moment to discuss his experience with the Brooklyn Reader.
'There was an author on the panel, her name was Nova Sparks. She gave me her book, The Dome, and she signed it. She said I can contact her if I need any help starting to write my own book and it made me feel like I make it happen if I want to."
Tevin attends the weekly programs at the Y and says that he and his family trust the organization to give him real opportunities. As the teen career forum grows in size every year, the organization is hoping to attract more knowledgeable entrepreneurs and eager students who seek their guidance.