I’m Sherrica Hill, a Gap store manager in Atlanta.
When I was first asked to teach workshops to students through Gap for Community Colleges, a job skills training program that is part of the White House Skills for America’s Future initiative, I thought “No problem.”
I was as confident as Michael Jordan on the basketball court, ready to teach fresh out of high school, wide-eyed job-seekers. But, when I opened the classroom door, I had a shock. Most of my students were former managers and executives recently laid off during the economic downturn. They were looking to Gap to find skills to get back into the game.
I’ll admit, I was intimidated. But, we launched into interview techniques, career planning, and team communications skills. After 4 hours of intense learning and some good laughs, time was up and the students didn’t want to leave. Neither did I.
I’m Kris Sanchez, a store manager in Las Vegas. I brought Gap’s training curriculum to students at the College of Southern Nevada. I graduated from a community college and know the importance of receiving real-world work experiences and training on campus.
My students showed up ready! They bombarded me with questions and an eagerness to learn and take risks. Whether they were international, local, full-time, part-time, young or older students… they were all seeking new skills to get back into the workforce.
I feel proud to be providing a much needed service to the community. And, like Sherrica… the experience has left me with a heightened sense of purpose, energy, and excitement shared by the students I won’t soon forget.
(Sherrica is featured in the center on the set of Focus Atlanta. Photo source: Focus Atlanta )