The Mississippi Gulf Coast Teen's Program Gives Teens A Headstart In The Workforce

Justin Jackson is striving to be an accountant and Camay Smith wants to be a military nurse. These are just two of tomorrow's young leaders launching their careers with the help of the Mississippi Gulf Coast's Teen's program.  The Boys and Girls Club organized this first year program.

"These kids we're looking at right now eventually are going to take positions we're filling right now. So, you want them to be prepared," says Devonna Guy, Assistant Director.

The program kicked off with goal-setting. This week is resume writing, and the students say the instruction is giving them a leg up.

"It helps me understand what are my job objectives. I know that I need to make an outline of everything I know how to do, what I want to do when I get on a job and what they're looking for me to do," says Camay Smith, Program participant.

Mock interviews are on next week's agenda.  The students will have to come dressed up and ready to interview with a local business owner.   But, these students are looking ahead, taking notes and already ahead of the game.

"I'll tell them everything they need to know about me like what are some strong points and why they should hire me for this job," says Smith.

"The program helps to open you up and let you learn what to say, what not to say and what to bring to interviews.   You might need a copy of your resume, a copy of your application and notepads for things you need to jot down about the job," says Justin Jackson, Program participant.

All this training will be put to the test at the end of the five-week program during a teen job fair. From Old Navy to Hibbett Sports to Leisure services, the program already has nine companies on board.  But, organizers are looking for 16 companies and encourage any local company who wants to come on board to sign up for the fair.

Among all the lessons the students will learn, Devonna Guy says there is one thing she wants these teens to never forget.

"I really want them to walk away knowing there are caring adults who care about what happens to them and want them to be successful."

If you are student or business interested in the program, you can e-mail:

Director, Clarence Ward at

Assistant Director, Devonna Guy at