March 23, 2020

Supportive University Students Prepare Foster Teens for Job Interviews

PBA News

Polished PBA students who routinely help their peers put their best foot forward on résumés and in job interviews conducted a career workshop in February for teenagers from Place of Hope.

Place of Hope provides faith-based, family-style foster care for children and families who have been traumatized by abuse and neglect. The PBA workshop had a dual focus of preparing the 10 Palm Beach Central High School students for job interviews and exposing them to a college environment.

The high school students learned how to shake hands, identify strengths and effectively answer interview questions during the two-hour workshop last month in the Hanley Classroom of the Warren Library.

Lauren Roub, a sophomore psychology major, coordinated the workshop with Jennifer Fonseca, the University’s assistant director of Career Development, and Place of Hope Enrichment & Volunteer Specialist Mariah Welch.

Welch said she was “grateful for the incredible interview class provided to our kids.”

Roub is a Career Peer working with the Office of Career Development. The peer advisors provide résumé, cover letter and LinkedIn profile reviews for their fellow PBA students. They also assist with vocational discernment, job/internship searches and mock interviews.

Roub taught the high school students — some of whom were only in ninth grade — how to translate their skills into relevant answers for a job interview. One of her questions, for example, asked them to identify a time in their lives when they were able to resolve a conflict.

One teenager talked about a time she respectfully confronted her teacher, who wasn’t communicating clearly, and got a positive result.

“We specifically trained them so that regardless of their background, they would be successful in an interview,” Roub said. “Your experience is valuable.”

Jonathan Carleton, a sophomore communication major, and Amber Ledbury, a senior philosophy, politics and economics major, are both Career Peers like Roub. They helped coach the teens in their breakout groups, encouraging the participants as they developed their answers to practice questions.

“It was a neat opportunity to be available and present and work with them in a positive way,” Carleton said.

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