Internship Gap Graduation

Victoria and Michael Franzia attend Enterprise for Youth's 50th Anniversary & Gladys Thacher's 90th Birthday Celebration on July 11th, 2019 at City Hall in San Francisco.

Congratulations to Enterprise for Youth’s This Way Ahead 2019 Internship graduates! 2019 was the most successful summer yet—88 youth from the San Francisco Bay Area completed their 10-week internships and 68 were offered continued employment. How amazing is that? Having a higher number of graduates made the graduation ceremony at Gap Inc. headquarters extra special. The energy in the room was buzzing as students gathered to eat delicious food and show off their accomplishments to their friends, families, and peers.

This Way Ahead is a job training and internship placement program, with a chance for an extended employment opportunity, that brings experts from Gap Inc. to train youth in retail-customer service. During the 10-week summer internship, interns build on skill sets that can be used in future internships and job placements—such as time-management, communication, and teamwork.

This year our graduation guest speaker was Susan Goss Brown, the Gap Foundation’s President, and she gave our youth some amazing advice about the world of work. We are so thankful for Susan’s energy and advocacy for our youth—but the evening really belonged to this year’s Intern speaker, Lamiya, a high school junior. Lamiya completed her internship at the Banana Republic.

“Knowing that I could potentially have a job at the end of this, made me want to keep on pushing towards my goal of being successfully employed.”

Working at the Banana Republic was a real growing experience for Lamiya—when challenges came her way, but she pushed through. Lamiya says, “Honestly, sometimes life can be hard, and there were times I didn’t want to go to the workshops, but knowing that I could potentially have a job at the end of this, made me want to keep on pushing towards my goal of being successfully employed.” And she did! She was offered a part-time position at her internship!

For most of this year’s This Way Ahead interns, this was their very first job experience. Many learned new skills or sharpened the skills they needed to be successful on the sales floor (and beyond). All of this summer’s interns had an experience they can take with them into their future careers. Lamiya captures the sentiments of this year’s interns when she says, “This internship was a great experience and was definitely worth it to keep going, and I’m thankful that through this program I was able to learn and grow as an individual and share ideas with my peers.” The evening wrapped up with sharing stories, laughter, and pictures to commemorate this year’s achievements.

“I’m thankful that through this program I was able to learn and grow as an individual and share ideas with my peers.”

Thanks to the Gap Foundation for their partnership with Enterprise for Youth on providing the youth of San Francisco with their first job at a Gap, Old Navy, or Banana Republic store. We are very proud of all the hard work from all the youth who participated in This Way Ahead this year.

Mario Cruz
Youth Development Director