Last summer, six high school students from Winooski spent six Tuesdays of their summer vacation learning vital professional skills through “Steps to Success”, a collaboration between ReSource and NorthCountry Federal Credit Union. The program provides an inside look at credit union operations, while also giving students an opportunity to work on their resumes, learn about workplace etiquette, participate in mock interviews, and practice basic teller cash handling transactions.
One participant of the program, David Klinker, speaks highly of his time with Steps to Success, which he learned about through his personal finance teacher at high school. His favorite part of the program was its differences from a classroom setting. “We got to eat food, learn useful skills, and hangout with each other all while being paid. A typical day involved a game of Jeopardy, meeting awesome NorthCountry employees, and learning professional development skills.
David says he’s happy he joined the program for an array of reasons: “I would highly recommend Steps to Success to other high school students. It was very fun, and we got paid. Second, everyone is given a job offer at one of Vermont’s best places to work.” He went on to explain how beneficial the program is for his future saying “I got to begin my career in marketing, my dream career field, before even starting my first semester at Champlain College. That would not be possible without Steps to Success!”.
Jeff Smith, SVP Lending at NorthCountry shined some light on the objectives of Steps to Success saying, “The program’s goal is to support the representation of different Burlington communities within the local banking industry, and show students the wide range of skills – beyond just cash handling – that go into running a successful financial institution."
Students who completed the program received $450, the opportunity to purchase a computer for $25, and a head start on finding a career in banking after graduation. Breakfast, lunch, and transportation were provided to the students free of cost. Three students from the program have accepted positions at NorthCountry this year.