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Michigan Works! Helps Student With First Job and Credits for Graduation


When Cheyenne Bell first came to the Northwest Michigan Works! Traverse City Service Center, she wasn't looking for help finding a job. She was there to take classes through the Traverse City Area Public School's Off Campus program which is housed at the Service Center. Bell had been expelled from high school and the Off Campus program gave her an opportunity to keep taking classes and earning credits. The program also gave her a chance to do volunteer work at the Service Center. Bell's hard work as a volunteer earned her a paid position at Michigan Works! through the Youth Employment and Training Program.

"I've never had a job before so I thought this would be a perfect doorway to open up so I could get hired at other places," said Bell.

Northwest Michigan Works! resource assistant, Diane Love, was Bell's mentor and says it was important for the job to be more than just a job shadowing experience.

"We really decided we were going to empower her and have her work side by side with the customers because we felt that was her weakest link, that is what she needed to gain the confidence," said Love.

"It's given me a big confidence level boost," said Bell. "Seeing how fast I learned and how quickly I picked things up makes me feel good about myself."

Besides boosting her confidence Bell says the skills she's learned at Michigan Works! will help her land jobs in the future.

"This job has given me a lot of experience with customer service," said Bell. "I'm more confident asking people what they need."

"She needed to know how to be approachable so she could market that skill when she left school," said Love.

Along with skills she can use in the future, Bell also earned Work Experience credits that will help her graduate from high school on schedule. She says the job at Michigan Works! has also helped her become more mature and more prepared to take on life's challenges.

"They taught me how to be professional and how to grow up," said Bell. "I just know I'm going to excel and do great because I've learned a lot here."



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- Mark Heydlauff, Charlevoix City Manager