From High Schooler to Human Resources Professional

An Alumni and Former Staff Member’s Ten Year Journey with Enterprise for Youth

“I owe it to Enterprise for being where I am today.”—Krista Apolonio, Senior Technical Sourcer, Artificial Intelligence at Cruise

Krista Apolonio began her journey with Enterprise for Youth in 2011 as a shy teenager. She learned of the program and its value over the family dinner table—her big sister was an Enterprise youth with an internship at Chevron. Motivated by these positive reviews and the companionship of her best friend to join the program alongside her, Krista signed up for Enterprise for Youth’s internship program supported by Gap Inc.

Krista, center, when she received her Enterprise for Youth certificate of completion with her peers.

As a self-described turtle in her shell, Krista was not comfortable sharing her thoughts and experiences, but these tendencies were soon challenged by Enterprise for Youth’s job-readiness training program. Enterprise facilitators were warm and welcoming, making Krista feel safe and increasingly more at ease when prompted to share her thoughts, insights, and opinions. Krista learned how to interact with individuals and groups— which she looks back on as a huge growth opportunity. Both in work and in life, Krista believes that communication is the number one most helpful skill she learned from Enterprise.

Flyer of Krista when she joined the flagship leadership team at Old Navy.

With her increased confidence in interacting with others, Krista was set up by Enterprise with her first paid internship at Old Navy. Krista became one of several youth who were asked to continue employment at Old Navy following her internship. Working at Old Navy from high school, through college, and beyond, Krista worked in all sorts of departments—inventory, marketing, merchandising, visuals, and eventually human resources where she came full circle, managing interns from Enterprise for Youths’ internship program that she was once a part of. Her experience as the HR Specialist, in particular, jump-started her career and passion to connect people to opportunities. 

“Enterprise opened my eyes to my passion for working with people. Through workshops and work experiences, I learned the dynamics of growth and how people can change over time, which is interesting to me.”—Krista

Program Manager Krista Apolonio congratulates intern.

Expanding on her desire to facilitate human interaction and others’ professional growth, Krista joined Enterprise for Youth as a Program Manager. For almost two years, Krista guided teenagers as they started their professional journeys. “Working at Enterprise was really gratifying, especially knowing how much I was able to benefit from the programs and experiences,” says Krista. “I can see myself in the students I partnered with, and seeing their growth and development is special.” 

“The most rewarding part of my job is helping shape the leaders of our future workforce. I have the pleasure of serving youth from all backgrounds, especially those from under-resourced, underrepresented, and vulnerable communities.”—Krista

As an alumna, colleague, and friend, we are proud to see Krista in her new role as Senior Technical Sourcer, Artificial Intelligence, at Cruise (the self-driving car company). For all those techies out there, you have a resource in Krista Apolonio!

Before moving on to her new role, Krista shared some valuable parting words of advice for youth:

“Never stop learning about yourself and the world around you. As you grow older, you continue to learn about what you are passionate about. You will figure out the world is your oyster.”

By Margan Mulvihill
Associate Director of Development and Communications

Enterprise for Youth staff celebrates Krista’s next step in her career journey.