Zinner & Co. Continues Involvement in Youth Career Olympics
Posted by: Chris Valponi, CPA
The lives of people in the Cleveland corporate world and at an East Cleveland High School may seem worlds apart, yet Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U.) is able to bring them together for one special event: the Youth Career Olympics. This event is a one day illustration of the types of experiences that Y.O.U., headed by Carol Rivchun, offers impoverished Cleveland youth all summer long. I hope my experience will provide a glimpse into this special event and organization right here in Cleveland!
Our firm was paired up with Shaw High School for this year’s Olympics. Artemus Carter, the Youth Career Coach, introduced me to my team mates Yvonne Hardy and Taylor Williamson. They were a little nervous about the whole process, but it was a great experience to get them comfortable and build their confidence.
We competed in the Corporate Challenge, which is similar to Jeopardy using business and career-focused questions. There has been a lot of internal competition at Zinner to see who can coach a championship team; Zinner’s reigning champion coach, Reggie Brewington Jr., has several victories under his belt and I was hoping for my first one this year!
I met my team early that morning at the Cleveland Clinic’sLyndhurstBuilding, which is a beautiful campus. The day started with some nervous practice and we jumped right into the first round. The score was close, but we won! That first win gave us a little extra confidence that carried a long way. We stormed through the second round, where unfortunately Shaw’s other team (coached by Reggie) was eliminated. In the finals, the girls went on a roll and we won!
The event was a learning experience for the youth and adults alike. The students got a great opportunity to try something new and get a taste of the working world where they plan to build a career. I had a chance to put myself into another person’s shoes and learn about the world they face. These are the types of experiences that Y.O.U. offers not only on this day, but all throughout the summer with their Summer Jobs Program. Youth are awarded summer jobs with actual employers in the Cleveland area, allowing them real-life work experience. Thank you to Carol Rivchun, Pam Macer and the rest of the Y.O.U. staff and Board for hosting us; it was a fun event and now I have bragging rights for next year!