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Youth @ Work

A career exploration and professional skill development program for female and gender non-conforming high school students

Program Overview

Youth@Work is a job shadow program for young women and gender non-conforming individuals in high school. As a part of Youth@Work, students will participate in career exploration opportunities and professional skill development with a group of their peers. Students will have the opportunity to engage with mentors at local businesses and to experience a “typical day of work” in these businesses.

  • Career exploration: Discover career opportunities at your local businesses, and learn about career fields in which women are underrepresented.
  • Professional skill development: Learn skills needed to thrive in the workplace from Vermont Works for Women’s (VWW) very own staff members. Better yet, topics are chosen based on YOUR interests!
  • Connections to other youth: Connect with other youth in the Youth@Work program to form peer relationships with other young women and gender non-conforming individuals in high schools in your region
  • Mentor relationships: Develop relationships with your mentors at local businesses through job shadows, “lunch-and-learns,” discussion sessions, and more.
  • A “typical day at work”: Shadow employees to learn about their jobs and their experiences at various local businesses. See how a business operates and observe its work environment, physical space, and office culture.


Youth@Work highlights low-barrier career fields with the potential for high earnings. “Low-barrier” careers are those that are easy to enter, either through robust on-the-job training opportunities or through lower prior education and experience requirements. Additionally, the program introduces students to female or gender non-conforming role models in industries in which women are underrepresented.

Workshop topics:

  • Personal Finance (basic and advanced)
  • Motivation, Time Management and Organization
  • Self-Advocacy (focus: harassment at work and salary negotiation)
  • Effective Communication
  • Leadership
  • Marketing Yourself (focus: resumes, cover letters, and networking)
  • Post-Secondary Pathways


For more information about Youth @ Work or to become involved in the program, contact Youth Program Coordinator Melissa Nelson at