Meet our Specialist of the Month winner for September, Kim Walls, an Out-of-School Specialist, from SEMCA Michigan Works! in Livonia. Kim has been a JMG Specialist for one year now and has already been making a difference in the lives of the youth she serves. We asked several questions so you can get to know her better:
Why did you become a JMG Specialist?
When I took on a career coaching role with Livonia Michigan Works!, this program was already in place, and we have several students from the Blended Learning Academy that are benefiting from this fantastic program.
What inspires you about your job?
I love connecting with youth that live in my own community. Having the opportunity to coach/mentor and watch students set and reach their goals inspires me everyday.
Recall a favorite memory about being a specialist.
Just recently I had the chance to work with someone that was at a loss of what career path to take. When an opportunity to participate in a Carpenter's Pre- Apprentice Program this summer arose, he reluctantly agreed with no real expectation that he would like it. This student excelled, received an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Certification, completed the program without a missed day and is now applying for a 4-year apprentice program with the Carpenter's Union. He has decided that a career in carpentry will be exciting, pay good wages and enable him to become independent and support a future family.
What is one of the greatest challenges you face in your job?
Limited resources and seeing people struggle.
What is one of the greatest highlights/joys of your job?
Seeing students work toward their goals and overcome barriers is one of the greatest joys of my job.
Why do you think JMG is so important for youth?
JMG gives students the opportunity to become leaders, build confidence, and connect with peers in a positive coaching/mentoring environment.
Share your hobbies, do you have any pets, what do you like to do in your spare time, etc. A couple random facts to get to know you better.
I enjoy gardening, listening to live music, and traveling with family and friends. I have two rescue dogs, a husky and a pit-mix. I have been in employment services for over 25 years and still like what I do!
Nominations are open to ALL, including our employer partners! If you know a phenomenal specialist, we encourage you to nominate them as our October Specialist of the month.
Nominate a specialist who deserves to be recognized, here.