At the conclusion of the 2015 Youth Summit, an “Undercover Boss” selected one of the youth attending the April 1 event to work for her company. This year’s “Undercover Boss” was Allison Madison of Madison Approach Staffing of White Plains. She hired 17-year-old Mikala Bell of Mount Vernon. Pictured, from left, Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino; Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell; Allison Madison; Mikala Bell, and Business Council of Westchester President and CEO Marsha Gordon.
Nearly 300 young people ages 16 to 24 from throughout the Hudson Valley turned out for the 2015 Youth Summit where they learned valuable employment skills and advice for starting a successful career. The all-day event, which was held April 1 at the Crowne Plaza in White Plains, featured an array of distinguished speakers.
E.J. Carrion, co-founder and CEO of Student Success Agency, gave an entertaining and inspiring talk about setting goals, taking professional risks and learning the traits of successful people. “There’s no golden path. You need to have a vision of what you want your life to look like. When you don’t have vision, you don’t know how great you can be. When you have a vision, you find a way,” he told the audience.
The event also featured a presentation by brothers Michael and Marc Guberti, founders of the Teenager Entrepreneur, a company that educates and empowers teenagers on how to “package passions into profits.” The Guberti brothers, who are residents of Eastchester, described their “four-step formula” for business success using Social Media strategies to “tell the world what you’ve created.”
The free event was presented by the Business Council of Westchester, Westchester County, Putnam County and the Westchester-Putnam Workforce Investment Board. Sponsors included Montefiore, VeeKast, C.W. Brown, Gibbons Digital and Berkeley College.
Young people attended workshops on personal branding, financial literacy, communication styles, social media and college and career pathways. The event also connected young, eager workers with some of the most experienced business leaders in the Hudson Valley.
The Youth Summit also featured an “Undercover Boss” who spent the day observing the youth participating in the program. At the end of the day the Undercover Boss selected one of the youth to work for her company. This year’s “Undercover Boss” was Allison Madison of Madison Approach Staffing of White Plains. She hired 17-year-old Mikala Bell of Mount Vernon.
“I love being the undercover boss. It gives us an opportunity to provide a young adult a chance to work in a professional environment and learn all the skills and experiences that come with that. But, what’s more, it teaches a great lesson to all the other kids in the room that you never know where opportunity comes from, you never know who the person is that you are sitting next to on the bus or standing next to in the elevator—how you conduct yourself everywhere you go matters—it can mean the difference between getting a job or getting a bad reputation—its all about your choices and making the most out of opportunities,” said Allison Madison.
Among the young people attending the event was Ronnell Fuller of Mount Vernon. Fuller, age 15, started his own company called Distinguished Designs, which produces customized lapel pins. “I learned today you have to be passionate about your business if you want to succeed. You need to stand out and not just fit in,” he said.
“The Business Council of Westchester is proud to partner with Westchester County, Putnam County and the Westchester-Putnam Workforce Investment Board in presenting this year’s Youth Summit,” said Marsha Gordon, President and CEO of The Business Council of Westchester. “This is one of the most important events we hold each year. The job skills and advice learned today will help our next generation of workers succeed in their careers,” she added.
Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino urged the young people to use the experiences they learned at the event to get on a career path for the future. “We know that you are our most valuable commodity,” he said. “We want you to succeed – personally and professionally. And we want you to succeed right here in Westchester and in the Hudson Valley.”
The Youth Summit is also part of the Westchester Private Sector Summer Jobs program that connects young people with Westchester County businesses. The event was led by Ebony White, the BCW’s Workforce Development Coordinator. For information about the Summer Jobs Program or hiring local youths for the summer, call Ebony White at 914-948-2110.
Pictured, from left, Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino; Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell; Allison Madison; Mikala Bell, and Business Council of Westchester President and CEO Marsha Gordon.