Local youngsters from a borough high school are getting real world training at AT&T stores this summer.
DreamYard Preparatory School in Claremont and AT&T teamed up to provide opportunities for a dozen DreamYard students to have summer internships at borough AT&T locations.
The five-week immersive internships, which began on Wednesday, July 11, are designed to help the dozen of young people develop job skills in real workplace environments, and to foster interest in technology.
Alex Reyes, who is entering senior year at DreamYard Preparatory, lives in Hunts Point and works at the AT&T store at 1014 Southern Boulevard in Longwood.
Reyes said the paid internship was his first full-time job, though he has been involved in other entrepreneurial endeavors as a reseller of sneakers and accessories.
“I greet customers, receive inventory and do anything else like any other worker does there,” said Reyes. “I made one phone sale so far and have helped people pay their bills.”
Reyes said that he sees himself become more responsible, noting that, for example, that he’s become more punctual.
“I think it will be helpful in the long run,” said Reyes of the experience, adding “So far, interning at AT&T has been a wonderful experience; I have gotten along with the workers and managers, and they treat me like I am one of them.”
There can be a dearth of chances for borough students to have summer opportunities such as his at AT&T, where he is building his résumé and developing work experience.
For Trinity Haynes, another DreamYard intern who has lived in Soundview and Longwood, this is her second year getting on-the-job experience in the AT&T internship program.
Haynes also works at the Southern Boulevard AT&T location and is entering senior year.
She said that she first learned about the internship opportunity from her technology teachers, and that she wanted to take part again because she enjoyed it last year during the summer months.
Working in the store has been a boost to her self-confidence, she added.
“From both years, I learned to be confident with myself,” said Haynes, citing as an example of her effectively working with Spanish-speaking customers even though she is not fluent in Spanish.
The internship experience has been useful in developing people and social skills in the workplace, as well as knowledge of technology, sales and marketing, said Haynes.
“It gives you the experience of having an actual job,” said Haynes. “You will get a chance to have something to put on your résumé and built your network.”
Tim Lord, DreamYard’s co-executive director, said that the organization “is thrilled to be working with AT&T to provide paid real world learning experiences in AT&T stores in the Bronx this summer.”
Marissa Shorenstein, AT&T northeast region president, said that programs like the DreamYard internships give students professional experience that are an essential part of empowering them.
“AT&T is proud to offer internships to 12 exceptional young people in our Bronx retail stores for the second summer in a row,” said Shorenstein. “One of AT&T’s top priorities is to empower students and connect them to the skills today’s economy demands.