The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

July 12, 2012

Library helps teens with choices

Space offers fun, learning opportunities

BY JENNIFER BAILEY
Commercial-News

DANVILLE — Life after high school has been going pretty well for 19-year-old Charlie Daugherty.

She will be a sophomore at Augustana College in Rock Island this fall after graduating from Danville High School in 2011.

She said the campus is beautiful, looking like what she dreamed her college experience would be like, and she’s excited about starting classes relating to her field of study, elementary education.

She said a lot of her peers went on to college and a few to the military. Some knew what they wanted to pursue as a career, while others had no idea.

A lot of teens might be unsure what they want to do after high school. They aren’t sure they can afford college, and they’re not sure what jobs are available locally.

“They can be scared off by the big costs,” said Sue Daugherty, teen services coordinator at the Danville Public Library and mother of Charlie, about colleges. “They don’t think to dream.”

The goal of a two-part workshop titled Life After High School that began Thursday at the library’s second-floor Teen Space is for teens to learn more about finding jobs in the Danville area after they graduate.

The Teen Space has information from Vermilion Advantage about what area employers look for in potential employees.

Part II will be 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. July 19 and will help teens plan ways they can become someone employers want to hire. The program is free.

Alicia Pettigrew, special projects coordinator with Vermilion Advantage, presented the Teen Space with several copies of a business survey conducted by Vermilion Advantage that shows local jobs and education and skill levels needed.

Vermilion Advantage works with students early on to demonstrate the training and education needed for certain positions, such as in the manufacturing field.

Pettigrew said misconceptions about there being no jobs here, and bad attitudes can be overcome by taking information to the teens and reaching children early in life.

About 1,800 new jobs are expected in Vermilion County during the next two years and that doesn’t include new retail positions available with the new Kohl’s, T.J. Maxx, Meijer and Ross Dress for Less.

The website http://www.442jobs.com lists local job openings.

While Charlie Daugherty is home for the summer from college, she works at Monical’s Pizza. She said she’s open to coming back to Danville to be a teacher when she finishes college.

Sue Daugherty said she regularly helps teens in the Teen Space fill out online applications for jobs at fast food restaurants and other places. The teens also can learn more about scholarships at the library.

This is the second year for the Teen Space at the library and Sue Daugherty said the space is being well utilized. The space sees about a half dozen to a dozen teens a day, with some days being slower and others busier.

Summer hours at the Teen Space are 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. That’s when the space is staffed and teens can use the games and computers. There are two Internet computers for games and other usage, but homework and job applications, etc. are given preference for usage. The Xbox 360 video game system has been popular with dance and other physical games.

Tinisha Shade, marketing/public relations coordinator with Provena United Samaritans Medical Center, said the No. 1 reason she wanted to stay and work locally is because of family here.

“This community has been so good to me,” the former television newscaster also said.

Shade said people still give her a look and say, “What are you still doing here?” like it’s a bad thing to stay in your home town or county.

“I’m choosing to be here,” Shade said, adding that hard work pays off.

She’s had a great life in Georgetown and she received a scholarship to Danville Area Community College after high school.

Pettigrew said someone doesn’t have to leave Danville to be successful. Being positive also helps, she said.

“We have a lot of great jobs (locally),” Sue Daugherty added.

Daugherty said one can be successful and make a difference in his or her community.