Meet Michael and Niazharia!

Ra Mendoza
Michael in HOMEbooks and Niazharia in HOMEspun.

We in the Social Enterprise Department have had the pleasure of working with Mike and Niazharia this semester as they fulfill their internship with Project SEARCH, a workforce program that partners with the School District of Philadelphia and Community Integrated Services. Being an internship site with Project SEARCH means offering a space for each intern to develop their skills as they get ready to enter the job force, and this is right in line with our mission in Social Enterprise

Our Social Enterprise businesses at Project HOME exist to offer pathways for folks, at various stages in life, to self-sufficiency and employment. It was great to sit down with Michael and Niazharia and hear about what they’ve been experiencing as an intern with Project HOMEbooks and Project HOMEspun!

What are three fun facts about you?

Michael: “My favorite color is blue, my favorite musical artist is Chris Brown, and my favorite food is spaghetti and meatballs that my mom makes.”

Niazharia: “I want to make a movie about Destiny’s Child and play Latoya. I love basketball, it’s my favorite sport to watch and play. My favorite team is the warriors. I like to run track.”

What is Project SEARCH and what do you do at Project SEARCH?

Michael: “Project SEARCH helps you get a job and helps you learn about job applications and appropriate workplace behaviors. I attend morning meetings and do a morning lesson about topics like how to send an email, how to accept feedback, how to fill out an application. We do meditations, have a break and then come to our sites.”  

Niazharia: “What is Project SEARCH? People that help you find a job and prepare for a job. I learn how to do a job application, typing emails and reading emails, practice stations for data entry, filing by alphabetical order and numbers, knife skills, and folding clothes.” 

How did you become an intern with Social Enterprise?

Michael: “At home I have a bunch of books and I love to read stuff.” Michael was matched with HOMEbooks based on his skillsets.

Niazharia: “I wanted to work with fashion and was really good at folding clothes.”

What have you learned from your internship with Project HOMEbooks and Project HOMEspun?  

Michael: “Scanning books, looking up books (based on their ISBN), help manage the warehouse and pick up donations. I do inventory and quality assurance. I learned how to use a tape gun and box cutters. My favorite task is inventory and finding the titles. I’ve learned how to ask for help and work hard. My favorite memories of HOMEbooks are moving boxes of books around on the hand truck and taking them in and out of the basement, using the walkie talkies, and getting to use the Prox card to scan into the warehouse.”  

Niazharia: “Learning patience...thanks to the hangers! And paying attention to customers, customer service skills – that the customer is always right!”

What are you hoping to do after you’ve completed Project SEARCH?

Michael: “Be helpful. I want to work at the 69th street footlocker because me and my dad go there.”  

Niazharia: “I want to work at the White House.”

Best of luck to Michael and Niazharia as they continue on with Project Search and start their new internship placement in January!  

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