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JPM’s R.I.E. Program – A Successful Initiative (Program Highlights)

The Remote Internship Experience (RIE), in which teams of young adults served as “remote Interns” for their communities.

The teams launched social entrepreneurship projects that they conceived, planned, executed and presented to a panel of business judges. The project’s objectives were to benefit the environment, improve the lives of peers, children, seniors or animals. Students were challenged to stay on time and remain under a $100 budget, as they work collaboratively and resolved unexpected obstacles.

At the end of the two-month project, one team wins, and each member of the winning team receives a prize. In addition, the top performing members of the groups are selected as the MVPs, as determined by their peers, counselors and foundation staff.

This past winter a group of 20 young adults youth (ages 16-24) participated in the program, made possible by a federal workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) grant through the United Way of Greater Union County. The Chamber Foundation worked with a consortium of community-based organization, such as Jefferson Park Ministries. One of the interns named MVPS’s of their teams was from Jefferson Park Ministries youth program.

It was obvious from the first day of the REI that Guerschom Philippe would become his team’s de facto leader. He jumped into the project with both feet, carefully evaluating ideas during the brainstorming session, determining viable options and exhibiting tenacity. His team coordinated a special Christmas event for children in the community, during which he and his teammates prepared and served chicken and rice. He was moved by the gratitude expressed in the children’s smiling faces as they enjoyed their meal. Guerschom, currently in his first year of college in a “patient care technician” associates’ degree program, aspires to be a nurse practitioner. “For the first time in my life, I was able to work in a group and serve others. It was fun and very fulfilling” said Guerschom.

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