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AT&T works with local high school students to help develop job skills

Marissanne Lewis-Thompson | St. Louis Public Radio
High school students from the Jennings School District participated in the Passport to Success event Thursday. The event gave students the opportunity to learn essential job skills through mentorship.

More than a dozen high school students from the Jennings School District brushed up on their job skills Thursday as part of a program through AT&T.

The company’s Aspire Mentoring Academy, in partnership with Jobs for America’s Graduates program, held its "Passport to Success" event at the company’s headquarters in Des Peres. The program allows students to learn essential job skills through mentorship.

At the event, students were split into five groups and given passports to attend various sessions throughout the building. The sessions included improving interviewing skills, branding, using social media, creating personal goals and technology.

Sharonett Griffin is the senior general clerk at AT&T and is in charge of the Aspire Mentoring Academy. She said the goal is to give students a variety of skills to draw upon.

“This is the age that they need this information to kind of help them move along in the rest of their journeys,” Griffin said.

During her five years with the program she’s watched students develop portfolios and show up to events looking professional, demonstrating that they’re prepared for the working world, Griffin said.

Zion Smith is a senior at Jennings Senior High School & College Prep Academy. When he graduates from high school, he said, he wants to pursue a career in electrical engineering and construction. Smith said the tools from the program will help him achieve that goal.

“The program will give me a better outlook as far as what I want to do,” Smith said, “and I believe the mentors will help me kind of figure out what path I’m going to take and as far as how I’m going to get there.”

In February, AT&T Aspire Mentorship Academy held a similar event for students from the Normandy School District. Students who participated in the program are also part of the Jobs for America’s Graduates program.

Follow Marissanne on Twitter: @Marissanne2011

Marissanne is the afternoon newscaster at St. Louis Public Radio.