January is National Mentoring Month

January 19th, 2020 by admin

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the MLK Day of Service that celebrates the Civil Rights leader's life and legacy. One of Martin Luther King Jr.'s many thought provoking quotes is “Life's most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” Dr. King said this back in 1957 in Montgomery, Alabama and even today, still resonates as a very important question.

A great example of doing for others is by becoming a youth mentor. Since 2002, the month of January has been celebrated as National Mentoring Month, an initiative spearheaded by the Harvard School of Public Health, MENTOR, and the Corporation for National and Community Service. Great mentoring programs go well beyond one day or even one month of service. A great example of long-term mentorship programs are internships for high school students.

The core fundamental goal of a high school internship is to introduce students to real life experiences in the world of business and industry. An internship allows a student to refine their interests and explore career options. Students who work with mentors improve their level of self-esteem, an overall better attitude toward school and a higher likelihood of going to college.

With this in mind, the UTEC team has engaged with Airport Community Schools by providing an internship program at Airport High School, in Carleton, Michigan.

The internship program is available to high school juniors and seniors who have an interest in pursuing a career in IT or simply enjoy working with computers and office equipment.

Prospective interns need to apply and interview for the opportunity to intern with the UTEC staff embedded within the Airport School District.  This program began at the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year and continues to be a great opportunity for students to gain valuable job skills, while earning credit towards high school graduation. Timing for the internship is during the school year but there is also an opportunity for the student to “work” for the school district during the summer break, when district-wide IT equipment is serviced and prepped for the following school year.

Since the program started, five students participated in 2018-2019 and four students are participating in 2019-2020, three of whom are returning for their second year in the program.

UTEC employees, Mark Funchion, Education IT Director, and Sarah Kershaw, Help Desk Tech Specialist mentor the students throughout the internship.

UTEC is a Michigan-owned, Michigan-operated office technology company based in Ann Arbor, Michigan offering a wide variety of hardware, software and IT solutions. Since 1975, UTEC has helped hundreds of customers achieve gains in efficiency and productivity. UTEC's unique program designed for the specific needs of the education market allows school districts a level of creativity and flexibility previously unknown to them.  For more information, please contact Mark Lemon, Director of Education & Government Accounts, at (734) 358-9970.

Posted in: Community, IT Solutions