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Oakhurst Boys & Girls Club members graduate after summer internships

From left, back row: Katina Fictum, Kimberly Pounds, Victoria Rosales, Mikey Simmons, and Jessica Star, in the front row, graduated from the Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst’s Career Launch program, sponsored by Pacific Gas and Electric Company, on Wednesday.
From left, back row: Katina Fictum, Kimberly Pounds, Victoria Rosales, Mikey Simmons, and Jessica Star, in the front row, graduated from the Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst’s Career Launch program, sponsored by Pacific Gas and Electric Company, on Wednesday. Submitted photo

Five members of the Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst, who took on summer internships in the Mountain Area thanks to the Career Launch program co-sponsored by Pacific Gas and Electric Company, celebrated their graduation Wednesday at an event in Fresno.

The five graduates were: Katina Fictum, who interned at the Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst, Kimberly Pounds at Oakhurst Branch Library, Victoria Rosales at Western Sierra Nursery, Mikey Simmons at Visit Yosemite Madera County Visitors Bureau, and Jessica Star at the Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce.

Club Director Jennifer Simmons said the Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst is grateful for the partnership with PG&E, and with the opportunities the Career Launch program has provided.

“More than 20 youth in our Mountain Area started our Career Launch program at the Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst where they learned how to plan for their futures, write resumes, get recommendation letters and tips on how to be successful in an interview,” Simmons said. “We are very proud of our members who are out in the community representing our club.”

In a social media post, the club thanked all participating businesses and agencies for helping their members get the right launch on life.

“Our members will carry this experience with them and remember you all as an important stepping stone toward their future goals,” the post read.

Each graduate received a backpack filled with school supplies and a brand new Hewlett Packard laptop for completing their internship. They worked for six weeks this summer, and said they gained valuable life skills while earning minimum wage and gaining experience in a true working environment.

“This internship sets me up for a great career,” Mikey Simmons said.

All five agencies and businesses who took on an intern praised their hard work and said they’d be a valuable asset wherever they choose to go.

Wednesday’s graduation ceremony was held at Zimmerman Boys & Girls Club in Fresno, where 100 hard-working teens were applauded for their dedication to the program.

The partnership between PG&E with Boys & Girls Clubs of Fresno County, Oakhurst included, has been established for the last six years. Youth participants, ages 15-18 who complete a six-week training program have the opportunity to apply and compete for six week paid summer jobs at local nonprofit organizations, small or medium-sized businesses, and government offices in their area.

Included with their school supplies, laptop, and wages were professional work attire, the chance to open a bank account with a $50 starting deposit by their employer, and a stipend for travel to and from their summer job, officials with the program said.

Since 2012, Boys & Girls Clubs and PG&E have helped train nearly 2,800 youth and helped more than 600 of them secure summer jobs.

Details: Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst, (559) 642-4600.

Staff report

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