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Worthing students keep up the pace with new city jobs

Thirteen Worthing High School students are now part of an elite group.
As part of the City of Houston’s Professional Academy for Career Excellence (PACE) program, students participate in a paid internship.
PACE has been visualized as an institute dedicated to molding the career of an entire body of students by developing and delivering study programs which will enable them to clear the professional entrance tests like CLAT (Common Law Admission Test).
“The internship with PACE is helping to prepare the students to become productive members of our society. The year-round internship provides much needed training for making life choices students will eventually have to make,” co-facilitator Joyce Bennett said. “It is evident that their critical thinking skills, communication skills and positive attitudes have greatly improved since starting the program.”
Once students were selected, they were placed in various city offices, including Houston Public Library, The Pharmacy Store, Houston Police Department and Human Resources.
Every semester students switch job positions and also get a pay increase. During the summer, they worked 35 hours weekly and began earning $11 an hour. Once school started, students were only required to work 15 hours a week but their pay increased to $12 an hour.
“The program is nice. You get to experience a lot of different things that you could do within the city. My first job at the City of Houston was working with human resources. It was a good experience – things outside of my area of interest,” senior Destiny Daniels said. “These job experiences help me out tremendously but I see myself studying in another field such as pharmacy.”
Participants in the PACE program are given the opportunity to tour various colleges campuses and also they receive help with college applications.
Students got the opportunity to visit City Hall where they met Mayor Sylvester Turner and got to create “PACE Day” for the students.
“What they are learning from the PACE program is not that I want to work and receive minimum income but I want to work as the manager. The students mindsets need to go beyond that and they are learning that there are much better job opportunities out there,” Bennett said.
PACE senior Elvin Turner got the chance to mentor youths in the community.
“I’m working with My Brother’s Keeper. It is a Houston initiative. I mentor kids by helping them decide right from wrong,” Turner said. “There is a six-step process in the PACE program and the most important step is step three and that is for me to teach these kids how to read and actually push them to graduate from high school.”
Once students graduate, the City of Houston will still provide part-time jobs for them even during their summer breaks.

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