Connector Conversation with Denise Clark- Youth Development Services Supervisor for the Contra Costa County Office of Education

Why are you working in this field and what impact do you hope to have?

To connect youth to opportunities and increase their employ-ability skills so that they can be successful in starting their careers leading to self-sufficiency.

What can you say about Earn & Learn’s distinct approach to work based learning and it’s impact on career readiness?

I appreciate that E& L is innovative in it's approach to recruit employers and expand opportunities to youth.

Please share a work-based learning story that was impactful to you and/or your learners and or/employers?

Last year we had a young man in our program who was a foster youth and wanted to become a lawyer some day. We were able to place him for a work experience at the public defender's office. Logistics to get him to the public defender's office were difficult due to school schedule and limited public transportation options, however he was very determined and made it work.  He really enjoyed his work experience and his work site supervisors were very flexible with his schedule so that he could continue as long as he wanted. It was great to see someone so motivated and really determined to take advantage of this opportunity. 

Did you have a work-based learning opportunity in your youth, if so please share what it was and the impact it had on you?

I obtained my first job at 15 years old that I found on a job posting board in the career center at school.  It was a locally owned retail store and and it was a stepping stone to increased responsibility and self-sufficiency.


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Steering Committee Member Tara Sanders- Program Manager, Workforce and Economic Development for Contra Costa Community College District