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Getting Teens on the Right Path

By John Vomhof Jr.

Juan Luis Monje hasn’t yet started his senior year of high school, but he already has a plan for his future.

The 17-year-old wants to go to college for graphic design, a passion he developed as a frequent visitor to the Best Buy Teen Tech Center in suburban Denver.

And, this summer, he’s doing an internship at a local staffing agency to gain some work experience while reviewing resumes for potential employees.

“I think it’s a huge jumpstart,” he said. “Not many people get an experience like this. I’m getting an introduction to the business world.”

Juan Luis’ internship is part of Best Buy’s new Career Pathways program, which is designed to help students at our Teen Tech Centers develop job-readiness skills. It also builds a future workforce for Best Buy and other tech companies.

Participants can choose from one of five pathways: Cybersecurity, Programming/App Development, Digital Arts/Communication, Computer Repair/Help Desk and Retail/Youth Choice.

Plus, they learn soft skills, such as how to prepare a resume, dress for an interview, speak to a manager or resolve a workplace conflict. The nine-month program culminates with a paid internship.

“Our goal is to make sure the teens are getting real-life work experience that helps them plan for their futures,” said Andrea Wood, Best Buy’s director of community relations. “They’re learning about the workplace and different jobs, and then they either choose a path to get more education or to go right into the work force. But it’s clear where they’re going. They have a good plan in place.”

About 150 students from seven Teen Tech Centers are currently participating in the Career Pathways program.

Best Buy is helping teens develop tech skills for the careers of the future. Watch inspiring videos and help us share some of their stories.