(WXYZ) — Think of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan as part of an ecosystem. They've coordinated a community of inspiring people and companies to create amazing opportunities.
"I grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which literally is the worst place to raise a Black male in the country. And I grew up in the inner city, I grew up like a lot of the youth we serve. And I got my start at a nonprofit at the age of 14 years old," said Shawn Wilson, president and CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan.
Shawn understands the importance of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan and the lifelong lessons kids get along the way.
"Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan is all about economic mobility. We define that as our youth being career startup and homeowner ready," said Shawn.
And Wednesday there will be a job fair for those 14 and over. There are positions available, like gym instructors and youth counselors.
"We firmly believe that everyone's entitled to a livable wage. We value our employees, because they're the backbone of our organization," said Shawn.
Teenagers 14 to 17 will be paid $10 an hour to learn what they love. Those 18 and up will make $15 an hour.
"I've been enrolled here at the Boys and Girls Club since I was 6 years old," said Alexus Johnson.
Now at 20, Alexus works here as a program coordinator, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan helped launch her fashion design company.
"I just want to be like a young businesswoman hosting events, you know ... uplifting young girls and then sell ... our products, become successful," said Alexus.
Erica Trussell, 16, launched her design company 'Monique Fabboo.'
"A lot of people, they don't have opportunities like this. And I know, at first like I didn't, so me finding them is a blessing," said Erica.
Shawn said they work with various industry partners.
"Many of our positions are in partnership with industry partners, like an Apple or a PPG. And so the youth will get an opportunity to work directly with their staff as a part of this apprenticeship and learn from them. And that's great because not only are they getting paid to learn, but they're building their social networks," said Shawn.
Through Ponyride, the small business incubator, Keyon Clinton was able to bring his business "One Percent Better" into the Boys and Girls Clubs, and being in their ecosystem he says has been invaluable.
"This opportunity, it was a no-brainer. And ever since I got in it, I mean, it helped me grow and scale my company to levels that I couldn't even think of," said Keyon. "It's about taking what you do have and creating a foundation so that you can get 1% better every single day until you reach your goal."
The job fair will be held Wednesday at the Boys and Girls Club on Tireman in Detroit. They'll be conducting interviews and you may even get hired right on the spot.
June 2, 2021
Dick & Sandy Dauch Club
16500 Tireman Avenue
Detroit, MI 48228
4 p.m. - 7 p.m. ages 14+