Kids and the Power of Work

By Antranette Pierre….
How do children come to realize the connection between their school experiences and the world of work? How can area businesses ensure entry-level employees have the skills they need? For most students the connection between school and work is very unclear. Not for students at Miami Gardens’ elementary schools who are served by The City of Miami Gardens, and area business volunteers through a yearlong School-to-Career program called KIDS AND THE POWER OF WORK (KAPOW). This year, Miami Gardens’ elementary schools included Barbara Hawkins, Norland and Golden Glades Elementary schools.

Last month, City of Miami Gardens Employees hosted students at the Betty T. Ferguson Recreational Complex. Students met with code enforcement officers, police officers, the city architect, a human resources analyst and procurement specialists. Representatives from the fleet department showed students the city vehicles. “It is great to know there are programs that exist to give our youth an opportunity to see firsthand what grown-ups do to make a living,” said Carlo Hollis, Fleet Services’ Administrative Assistant. Miami Gardens Police Department’s Traffic Homicide Investigators instructed students about the importance of wearing seatbelts to prevent major injury during car accidents.

City Architect Jimmie Allen showed pictures of the projects currently in construction like Brentwood Park football lights installation and completed projects like the Betty T. Ferguson Recreational Complex.

KAPOW partners business and community volunteers with elementary schools throughout South Florida. “KAPOW exposes students to career opportunities and helps them connect what they are learning to their futures in the workplace,” said John Casbarro, KAPOW Coordinator.

Human Resources Analyst Sandra Ruiz offered mock interviews to students. “The program was a great way to get involved and teach children from the community about different careers in government,” said Ruiz. “The children were very involved and had great questions.”

For eight months, City staff volunteered with assigned classes at the local elementary schools, visiting once per month for one hour to teach various lesson plans i.e. teamwork, communication and diversity. Before you begin the lessons, a one-time training will show you how to implement the lessons and ensure success. Your participation will make a valuable contribution to the future of our community’s young people and help them learn about careers in your field.

Want to become a KAPOW volunteer? Our young people need to be inspired by you to work and succeed! Please contact KAPOW Director John Casbarro at, in Dade – 786-877-0334, or Broward, 954-680-3916.

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