Our thanks to Step Up intern Jordan, who delivered this speech at our October 10 Evening of Excellence celebration.
Thank you so much for your generous introduction! I’m so happy to be here tonight and talk about my experiences with AchieveMpls and the Step Up youth employment program.
I’ve been a Step Up intern at Best Buy, and it’s been a fantastic experience. I actually started Step Up right before my freshman year of high school, designing apparel at Target’s corporate headquarters. The next summer, I had a Step Up internship in costume design at the Pillsbury House Theater in South Minneapolis. And then, for the last two summers, I’ve had the amazing experience of being a legal intern at Best Buy’s corporate headquarters in Richfield.
Step Up has been one of the best experiences of my life. Over the span of two summers at Best Buy, I’ve gone from filing papers to finalizing work for paralegals and helping attorneys who are doing pro-bono eviction expungements in North Minneapolis. The work I got to do has given me a much better idea about careers in the legal field, and has also helped me on my college search.
I’ve also met so many great mentors over the past two years at Best Buy, and it always surprises me that they care enough to keep in touch and help me learn about other experiences I can have inside and outside of the company. For example, I recently started a new phase of the college search process, and recommendation letters are a big part of my applications. After mentioning my upcoming application deadlines, multiple Best Buy coworkers have reached out to me, not only with advice for my time in college, but also to provide letters for my many applications.
Mary, my Best Buy manager and mentor, has been one of the very best parts of my Step Up experience. She’s always interested in what I have to say and finds so many ways to support me. For example, when she has meetings with people in the office, she often invites me to tag along and meet them to learn more about their work and the company.
Over my four years in Step Up, I’ve learned so much about myself and what I want to do when I go off to college and after. By working in three very different settings, I’ve also learned a lot about what I like and dislike about a workplace.
I always knew I would go to college, but Step Up has also helped me define my post-secondary plans. After I graduate next spring, I’m planning to go to college to study English and economics in preparation for a career in law.
But first, I’m hoping to do one more Step Up internship at Best Buy! I would love to take on even more challenging work and make new professional connections for my future. I want to thank Best Buy tonight for providing such great experiences that will last my whole lifetime.
I also want to thank everyone here tonight for supporting Step Up, AchieveMpls and students like me. I’m so excited to see where life will take me next. Thank you!