2017 Youth of the Year
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Nominated by Amber Warne, Head of MIS:
Jillian is one of the hardest workers I have ever met, and everyone who has ever worked with her will tell you the same. I had the opportunity to bring Jillian into TYD’s 2017 Logistics Internship Program after high recommendations from her CTE (Career and Technical Education) Film & TV instructor and I am so glad that I did.
Bringing her into the program, I did not know about her mother’s illness and that Jillian had been her primary caretaker since she was in elementary. That Jillian had been searching for work to help her mom pay the bills but lacked job-finding skills. That the only income the two of them had was her mother’s disability checks and Jillian was struggling to find work to help support her family. I did not know any of that when I brought her into the program, because she never let life’s hardships phase her professionally.
I offered Jillian this opportunity and she ran with it. She outshined everyone and her supervisors were ready to hire her after her first week. She embraced an extraordinary work ethic and gave her best to Scripps Media every day, while attending school and caring for her mom. After successfully completing the internship and graduating high school, Jillian was hired at Scripps as a Production Specialist, where she operates cameras, assists anchors, prepares equipment, and controls audio for the news and other TV programs. She is proud of the responsibilities she has earned over the past year, from intern to Production Specialist and soon Technical Director, and she continues to be a leading example of an incredible worker.
Jillian told me before the program she had “no sense of direction”, and described the difficulty of caring for her mother and herself. She is a perfect example of a youth whose life has been affected at no fault of their own, and without assistance and support, would not know how to handle the economic struggles a teenager should not have to encounter. Jillian is also an inspiration for anyone who think their career goals cannot be achieved because of the adversities they were given. Jillian continues to work extremely hard while supporting and caring for her mother and hopes to continue moving up to achieve self-sufficiency. Her coworker, Guy Atchley with KGUN 9, excitingly told me he “sees her going a long way” and I have no doubt she will continue to find success!
2016 Youth of the Year
Evelyn Plascencia, Youth Career Connect Internship Program
Pima County Youth Career Connect internship program participant, Evelyn, is a 2015 graduate of Desert View High School, attending Pima Community College to obtain her certification in Machine Tool Technology and is working in the Machine Shop at PSE Archery.
Evelyn is breaking down barriers locally for women in the Machining Industry. She has been a leader in advocating for women to move forward in this industry while working toward a career and her future in the field. Evelyn’s peers, supervisors and teachers describe her as a great leader, highly motivated, intelligent and extremely passionate. She holds high standards and her integrity is like none other. She commands respect and positive attention in every aspect of her life. She is resilient and has persevered through adversity while maintaining a positive outlook and a big heart, all while being an inspiration to others.
2015 Youth of the Year
Claudia Rios, YouthWorks Charter High School
Claudia Rios was voted 2015 TYD Youth of the Year and recognized on December 18, 2015.
Claudia is a 2015 graduate of YouthWorks Charter High School. She graduated a year ahead and with a 4.0 GPA. She is attending Pima Community College and holding strong a 3.5 GPA and with plans to transfer to Northern Arizona University. Claudia's peers and teachers describe her as intelligent, very motivated, a strong self-advocate, someone with high integrity, extremely passionate, resilient to adversity and someone who has a huge heart. Claudia's dream job is to become a pulmonologist and find a cure for this chronic disease that she and her siblings have suffered from. (December, 2015)
2014 Youth of the Year
Connie Tran, Learn Earn Advance & Prosper Program