Big Buddy's program prepares students for the workforce

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Teens this summer will be getting a head start on the real world. They will be getting hands-on experience with Big Buddy's "Level-Up" Workforce Development Program.

Five hundred  applications were submitted, but only 100 lucky kids will be chosen for paid internships this summer. Director Gaylen Mack said programs like this are critical to Baton Rouge's young community.

"They are going to grow up to become leaders of tomorrow. I don't mean tomorrow like five years from now, but actually tomorrow. And they need to have these experiences so they can understand what it takes to be successful," said Mack.

Teens will be doing office work over the course of eight weeks, earning up to $1,500.

One of the places teens will work at is Baton Rouge Community College. Spokesman Steve Mitchell said giving students access to work in higher education is great for the school's future.

"They are getting hands-on experience, but they are also seeing behind the scenes of an organization that's dedicated to workforce development. So not only are they helping to benefit their own careers, but they're helping other people to do the same. So I think that's a win-win," said Mitchell.

Mack believes in order for our kids to have better futures, we have to invest some time in them.

"Because that's really the goal, to make them successful. It's not about talking about them or putting them down about what they do or don't do. If you have teenagers that aren't doing or won't do something, you got to stop and take a look at yourself," said Mack.

Due to the lack of funding, big buddy could only select 100 teens. You can donate to Big Buddy at their website

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