Few college freshmen can walk onto campus with an internship already under their belt. TyTeeona Howard, however, stands out from the pack.
For the past four summers, TyTeeona has interned at Fairview through STEP-UP, a City of Minneapolis internship program designed to give young adults professional experience in the health care industry. STEP-UP interns hold direct patient care positions while they are mentored by Fairview staff, gain work skills and earn an income.
“When I was a freshman in high school, I wanted a job, but I was too young to get one,” says TyTeeona. “Then I heard about the STEP-UP program. I like it because it allowed me to explore careers. I think it’s a really good program because it gives kids a look into career opportunities.”
As TyTeeona enters her freshman year at Bethel University, she already feels certain about what she wants to do after graduating, thanks in large part to the experience and insight she gained at Fairview. Now, she is anxious to begin school and start working toward her dream of becoming a physician’s assistant.
“I prefer to have one-on-one connections with people because I gain my energy from being around people,” says TyTeeona. “I always knew I wanted to do something in the medical field, and being a STEP-UP intern at Fairview opened up shadowing opportunities that made me realize that being a physician’s assistant is what I want to do.”
Fairview has been an active partner with STEP-UP since 2008 and has provided more than 80 student internships throughout that time.
“At Fairview, two of our core values are service and innovation,” says Hanane Kachman, Fairview workforce development consultant. “By helping youth in the communities we serve, we are investing in our future workforce and communities. Health care is a complex field with many amazing opportunities to explore, so participating in STEP-UP is a way that we can mentor, guide and advise youth to help them reach for the stars and accomplish their goals.”
For students like TyTeeona, the time they spend learning, growing and challenging themselves at Fairview can set them on the course for lifelong success.
“Overall, I am blessed for the opportunities I received with the STEP-UP program because I gained professional experience that I can use in any future career,” says TyTeeona.
STEP-UP serves youth from low-income families, youth of color, youth from immigrant families and youth with disabilities. Through the STEP-UP Achieve Jobs program, interns obtain meaningful experience that will help them reach their educational and professional goals.
For more information about the STEP-UP Achieve Jobs Program, go to their website.