"I realized that this summer, it was important to look towards the work force," said Pierre Coffy.
"We try to make it an experience for the intern that takes them beyond just the work, but really connect them to the community," said Alexis Bivens, Program Director of Education Youth Programs at the Fairfield County Community Foundation.
Pierre Coffy & Myah Simms are two of the Mayor's Summer Youth Employment Program interns at the Fairfield County Community Foundation (FCCF)
"Coming to the job site, I am in love with it. I can see what I want to do when I grow up. I can see myself being in this field and its nice to be able to shadow everyone who works in the office," said Myah Simms, an intern at FCCF who hopes to one day start her own non-profit organization after being inspired by FCCF's Fund for Women and Girls.
For the past 5 weeks, Coffy & Simms have had hand-ons rolls in projects and programs run by the foundation.
"It is a very strong indicator when you give youth an opportunity to be exposed to the work force at a young age," said Juanita James, President and CEO of the Fairfield County Community Foundation.
"We talk about our 21st Century skills and that is really about judgement and how do you navigate and how do you interact with one another and how do you represent yourself and how do you represent the company," added Bivens.
James says being support the students is important for community growth.
"I think it is in our best interest for the economic health and vitality of this community. We want to always have a pipeline of future workers and future citizens. If we take the responsibility of giving them the opportunity and access and exposure when they are young, then we are going to have that pipeline."
Both Coffy & Simms say being able to work on projects with the foundation has given them an experience they wouldn't be able to find anywhere else.
"It is going to be very rewarding to see my hard work come to fruition in the future. I can make connections here and in the future if I needed to apply for a college scholarship, I know I can apply here and I know that I have people here who know my name," said Coffy.
"It just gives us another level of confidence. I think that a lot of people don't think they can work in an office, I'm only 15 or nobody is going to take me seriously. But I think this shows that if you're really dedicated and you really want it you can start now and it's never too early to start." added Simms.