Benton Harbor High School students participate in collaborative workshop mentorship program

NOW: Benton Harbor High School students participate in collaborative workshop mentorship program

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - Benton Harbor High School students gathered to explore different job opportunities and roles of potential career paths they could go into. 

The Whirlpool Corporation, along with Youth Solutions, hosted a hands-on opportunity, Wednesday, for students to connect with people in different fields.

The event partnered with Jobs for Michigan's Graduates (JMG) who offers career opportunities while also providing students with "21st century skills like communication, teamwork, creative problem solving, financial literacy, and all the skills that they need to succeed in life after high school," said Sonya Blanzy, Youth Solutions' Deputy Director. 

"This mentorship program that Whirlpool is offering our youth is really allowing them [...] to talk with young people," said Blanzy. "Young people talk with mentors, who are doing jobs that maybe they one day aspire to be." 

Students were challenged with a variety of skills: leadership, out of the box thinking and collaboration. 

Corey Sterling, JMG Specialist, wanted to challenge students with skills covering a multitude of career pathways. 

"A lot of our kids going off to college, but a lot of kids just want to go into trades," said Sterling. "We pretty much cover career pathways. We cover life skills, we cover adversity, a little bit of everything."

Students were tasked with creating a car, having to tradeoff between quality and design, which Michael Gross, the Vice President of Channel Sales at Whirlpool, said is intentional. 

"The students are making some interesting tradeoffs around. We're going to go all in on quality or we're going to go all in on design, and then some are somewhere in between."

Gross recollected his own personal experience of having a high school mentor, a "pivotal" person in his life, which drives him to be a sounding board for current students.

"I can personally attest it is it's very important, or at least it was for me and my journey," he said. "So, we hope that we can create those same type of connections with ripple employees to Benton Harbor High School."


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