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This blog was written by EmpPOWERment Faculty and Staff, including Bella Hernandez, a rising Sophomore  in the Bonner Leaders Program at the Campus Y.  Bella works at EmPOWERment as a Bonner; she is working with EmPOWERment this summer through the Bonner NC Summer of Service internship. 

Thursday kicked off EmPOWERment’s 12th annual Career Explorers program, that pairs youth between the ages of 16 to 22 from Orange County  neighborhoods with local businesses for paid summer internships.

Through Career Explorers, students gain valuable first-hand job experience and develop skills from direct exposure in the work field. After a selective application process designed to discover the characteristics, experiences and skills of each individual, the students were excited to finally begin the program. During the kick-off meeting, the interns met with the program’s administrators to go over guidelines and expectations along with details relating to their specific job placement. It was inspiring to see multiple ambitious young people committed to spending 8 weeks of their summers in pursuit of real-world work experience. Boomerang is a non-profit organization that seeks to engage young adults and their community. More information about Boomerang and their community influence can be found on their facebook page.

Shayne, a Boomerang employee, described the company as a comfortable environment enabling young adults to develop useful skills relating to “communication, self-expression, healthy relationships and personal growth.” Boomerang’s presence is undeniably felt in the community, and their partnership with EmPOWERment will benefit both parties.

Delores Bailey, the Executive Director at EmPOWERment, spoke with pride about the participants in the Career Explorers program. Several of the interns in the past have even accepted full time positions with the business they were paired with during the program. Mrs. Bailey shared that local businesses are challenged to find eager employees who have unique skills that will be useful to them.

For many students, finding meaningful employment after graduation is a challenge, but Career Explorers acts as a catalyst for graduates who are looking for an occupation to fit their interests and financial needs. Connecting local businesses with a fresh and talented workforce is more important than ever. Career Explorers is a unique initiative that mutually benefits both the interns and the companies that they work for. EmPOWERment, Inc. is excited for the ways this program will shape the lives of the participants.

Community Partners/Community Business who hired our Interns

Law Office of Chris Barnes:

Eric Hallman:

Dixon Pit owner of Lumina Theatre:

Jon Mills owner of LunaPops:


WCH Radio:

Antwine Jackson owner of Enitech:

Career Explorers program is sponsored in part by:

Strowd Roses Foundation

Family Success Alliance

For more information, check out:

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