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PHOTO: From left to right, Ziyne Abdo and Meliah Tuttle

This summer, Osseo Area Schools is playing host to 10 local students gaining valuable internship experience as part of BrookLynk, an initiative of the Twin Cities-based Brooklyn Bridge Alliance for Youth. With assignments in human resources, community education, information technology, custodial services and the Freedom Schools program, the teens have an opportunity to explore potential careers, hone their skills and contribute to department and district-wide projects.

Now in its second year, BrookLynk seeks to connect local organizations with highly talented and dynamic youth. In 2015, the program provided more than 200 young people with work readiness training and coordinated 29 paid internships, according to its website.

As a first-year participant in BrookLynk’s internship program, Osseo Area Schools is giving its interns the chance to try their hand at potential career paths and learn about public education from a new perspective. Additionally, the program supports the district’s ongoing diversity initiatives.  

“One of our priority work areas is to recruit and retain a diverse workforce — one that reflects our student population,” said Janet Thomas-Bouyer, human resources director at Osseo Area Schools. “This internship program is supporting that initiative for us and providing these students with some great, real-world work experiences.”

For Ziyne Abdo, a junior at Park Center Senior High, the path to her internship with the district’s human resources team began last March when she saw a BrookLynk flyer at school. Abdo, who is also involved with the district as a student member of its strategic planning committee, said she enjoys the variety afforded by her internship assignment.

“My favorite part of the experience so far has been exploring human resources and understanding how things work behind the scenes,” she added.

Meliah Tuttle, a human resources intern alongside Abdo, echoed those sentiments.

“I’ve enjoyed working on projects here and learning more about HR,” she said. “The [BrookLynk] program really helps you prepare for and succeed at a job.”

So far, Abdo and Tuttle have participated in a variety of human resources functions, and even created a storyboard for an upcoming Osseo Area Schools diversity video – a unique project they both said was one of their favorites. They’ll continue their internship work through early August.

Brooklyn Bridge Alliance for Youth leverages community resources to provide children and teenagers with opportunities to succeed and become thriving adults. Osseo Area Schools is one of several local organizations designated as a member of the Alliance. To learn more, visit www.brooklynsallianceforyouth.org.