Ayanah “AJ” Jones exudes the kind of welcoming energy you aim for in someone who works the front desk at your organization. Her confidence is such a natural part of her presentation that most would be surprised to know that AJ was struggling just a year ago. “I had issues with anxiety,” she says. “And I didn’t know how to break out of that.”
Luckily, AJ found the donor-funded Teen Workforce Development Program at the Y. “Workforce Development broke me out of my comfort zone. I learned how to write a resume and interview for a job. It was a real confidence booster.”
After completing her Workforce Development training and an internship at the front desk of the Walnut Street YMCA, directors were so impressed with her work that they offered her a position on their team.
The Howard High School Junior, who was once full of anxiety, now bubbles with enthusiasm for her job. “I love how interactive I am with people. It’s one great big family that I am a part of.” For AJ, this is just the beginning of her journey. She hopes to capitalize on her experiences working with the public to one day become a 911 dispatcher.