YMCA Intern Challenge Gives Students Career Options


The YMCA Intern Challenge is a seven week leadership course for high school and college students.

YMCA Chief of Staff Tyler Anderson says, “Students between the ages of 16 to 24 compete for an internship anywhere in Rockford, funded through the YMCA, as well as scholarship money.”

Participants get to experience a different career field each week of the elimination competition.

Student Renee Jalbert says, “I thought this would be a great opportunity to not only challenge myself, but get to be around people who are both motivated and dedicated.”

Franco Trujillo, also a student,says, “I decided to apply to the internship challenge to expand my awareness of Rockford businesses, Just give me a new perspective.”

This week’s challenge is about promoting life in manufacturing. Their task: to build and retain talent for the local manufacturing industry.

Students toured Trotter Manufacturing and met with the company owner. One goal of the challenge is to expose students to the many career opportunities in the Rockford area.

Anderson says, “Oftentimes, we find that they come in (thinking about) one career path or one major field. And it either supplements that or takes a complete turn based on how they felt working in these different industries throughout the challenge”

Jalbert adding, “I’m not someone who particularly has much business experience. I’m actually a science major But getting out of your comfort zone and experiencing new things I think is a great opportunity for people who might not attempt something like this.”

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