Kayondra Garrison, who put in an outstanding performance as Hopeworks’ training room intern, recently moved on to a full-time position as a Benefits Outreach Specialist for Benefits Data Trust, a Philadelphia nonprofit that helps eligible individuals gain better access to the benefits to which they are entitled.
A friend who is now a Hopeworks alumni referred Kayondra to Hopeworks in 2019, and she has never looked back. Kayondra held a couple of fast food jobs before she came to Hopeworks, but that was the extent of her work experience.
“Hopeworks gave me a plethora of opportunities,” says Kayondra
When Kayondra first came to Hopeworks, there was no such thing as a training room intern. Yet she found herself spending a lot of time helping other youth complete the training. It came naturally to her. Kayondra took a brief break from Hopeworks, and when she returned and found out Hopeworks had created a training room internship, she said to herself, “Oh yeah. That’s what I want to do.”
Working as a training room intern gave Kay great managerial experience. “I had to make sure the trainees were on task, were checking their calendars, were where they were supposed to be, and had the laptops they needed for interviews,” she said. “I had to refer them to career readiness coaches.” She also learned tactful ways to communicate with others. “I know how to respond well to a lot of different things I probably would have responded to differently before,” says Kayondra. ”I call it the ‘Hopeworks response.’ I give people a lot of ‘Hopeworks responses’ when they’re annoying me!”
Here at Hopeworks, Kayondra will be missed, and not just for her sense of humor. “Kayondra is so bubbly and brings life into whatever space she is in,” says Tina Anino, her Career Readiness Coach. “She was the first youth I met at Hopeworks and I admire her growth. Kay has blossomed into a young professional and I could not be more proud. She has grown professionally and personally.”
Kayondra sees lots of opportunities for growth and advancement in her current job at Benefits Data Trust. She plans to make the most of this position. In time, after she matures a bi more, she has her sights set on becoming a motivational speaker.