Footprints to Employment

Sometimes the best way to learn is to teach — that’s the lesson Keisha learned as a Neil Squire Society youth intern at the Penticton Indian Band’s (new window) Footprints to Technology (new window) Centre.

Keisha, the Neil Squire Society youth intern at the Penticton Indian Band’s Footprints to Technology Centre.

“My experience as a youth intern was quite amazing, I really, really loved this job,” says Keisha. “I learned quite a few new skills.”

Keisha, who is Aboriginal (new window) and a member of the Penticton Indian Band, initially thought the internship would deal more with the tech side, but with a teaching background, it made sense to focus on the one-on-one Computer Comfort tutoring, an experience she found immensely rewarding.

“One thing I’m really proud of with this position was a gentleman in particular who was one of my most consistent clients, he came every week, sometimes twice a week, he was here for at least two hours each time. He went from knowing absolutely nothing about computers, not how to turn it on, not how to type, not how to use a mouse. He started typing at three words per minute,” she explains. By the end, “he was able to create his own Facebook (new window) and emailed his niece regularly, at least once a week, shared pictures with her.”

“Seeing him going from absolutely nothing to knowing all these things on his own and being so independent on the computer was really, really amazing to watch, and I was so glad I got to be a part of that experience with him.”

But her students weren’t the only ones learning. Keisha admits that the internship helped her grow a wide variety of skills, including public speaking. “When I do speak in public, I generally talk quite fast, and I speed through a lot of things and miss a lot of key points,” she says. “Working with this job and having to have patience with talking to my clients and going through things slowly and going through things over and over again really did improve on my public speaking.”

While she was working in the Youth Internship, she applied for a job with Statistics Canada (new window) as a Census Crew Leader for the Penticton Indian Band Reserve, a full time position. She got it.

Now, Keisha attributes her success to her time spent at Footprints to Technology, and says that the Youth Internship program has influenced her career path.

“I loved having this job, I’ve learned so much and created so many relationships with different people. I loved being back in a teaching environment, helping people learn new things and watching them grow. Thank you for this opportunity.”

Watch Keisha’s video about her intern experience: