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'Life-Changing' Summer for North Light Interns

Community center honors teens at Manayunk Brewery event.

A federal agency, an environmental group, local banking and human services organizations set the roster for a variety of Roxborough and Manayunk summer interns. But these aren't college students.

Through the 's summer programs, high school teens worked in real-world environments at places like , the and the Environmental Protection Agency—among many others.

"This program has been life-changing for all of us youth as we get ready to the complex work force," Samuel Robinson said. "Just amazing for all of us."

Robinson worked for the Schuylkill Center through the WorkReady program—one of the summer internships celebrated at the Wednesday in a goodbye ceremony.

Through partnerships with local businesses and involvement in WorkReady, the Urban Sustainability Leadership Academy and Teens 4 Good, North Light placed nearly 60 teens at more than 30 organizations throughout Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs.

Billy Eisenberg, director of education and teen programs for North Light, hosted the evening and credited the students and their employers for a great summer. In addition, he thanked parents, businesses and North Light sponsors for raising money through the program book to pay for the dinner.

"Otherwise, we'd all be crammed into tables in the North Light gym. This is a little nicer, isn't it?" he said.

During the ceremony, students from each program gave testimonials as to how impactful the summer experience was on their lives. Some worked in retail, farms, offices or food.

"I built communication skills and formed friendships that will last a lifetime," said Gina Sullivan, an EPA intern.

Charlese James worked with Teens 4 Good.

"I learned great marketing and communication skills," James said.

The programs varied, but each required certain work hours and often included different workshops. WorkReady students attended weekly professional development seminars, while Teens 4 Good created a commercial for a citywide competition.

Locally, these businesses opened their doors for interns—East River Bank, , North Light Community Center Summer Camp, the Schuylkill Center, , , , , , and .

Visit North Light's website for more information.

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