Career Pathways Grant Strengthens Summer Youth Program by Training SEPTA Employees to be Mentors

Posted July 2014

On June 25, students and their families attended the SEPTA TWU Summer Youth Program Orientation Night hosted at the Transport Workers Union Local 234 Hall.  Representatives for Philadelphia Academies recruited the students from four Philadelphia Career and Technical Schools, Mastbaum, Swenson, South Philadelphia and The Workshop School. At the orientation, participants received the student manual from TWU Local 234 Apprenticeship Coordinator John Johnson, Jr. and filled out employment forms.  The participants and their parents also signed agreements to document their commitment for their participation, support, and dress code. 

During the course of this program, which started on Monday June 30, the participants will work will keep a journal of their learning and work closely with mentors.  These thirteen mentors are Transport Workers Union Local 234 members who attended train-the-trainer classes provided by Keystone Development Partnership and subsidized by a Career Pathways grant managed by the Transportation Learning Center.  SEPTA provided the facilities and time for the mentors designated by TWU.  The sessions included:
*  Background information on the SEPTA TWU Summer Youth Program
*  Information on the application process for the high school students
*  An introduction to learning styles
*  An introduction teaching techniques for the mentors.

The mentors participated in exercises and role playing scenarios to help them improve their mentoring skills.  The hundreds of years combined work experience of the mentors provides the foundation for the students interested in pursuing careers in public transit.  Some mentors recently graduated from the TWU SEPTA Apprenticeship and said that they volunteered to be mentors so that they could “give back” to the training program.  Students who attended the Summer Youth Program in previous years expressed their appreciation for the mentors and how they learned from these qualified role models.

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