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In 2012, the department launched the Recreation Employment Corp. Mentor program enabling students, ages 14-17, the opportunity to get a glimpse at what it’s like to work in the park and recreation field.
20 students were partnered with Park and Rec staff for 10 hours a week for nine months at various Recreation Centers and the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center.

Mentees learned how to provide good customer service, prepare for large events such as a swim meet and how to plan and carry out a successful program.

Volunteering was also an important assignment. On one Saturday in October, students participated in a beautification project at Clanton Greenway.

The program even provided students the opportunity to sharpen their resume writing and job interviewing skills.

“We are proud to offer this wonderful program which gives students the chance to develop positive working skills and habits which will serve them throughout life,” said Park and Recreation Director Jim Garges. “It is a great example of Park and Rec’s commitment to providing an atmosphere that stresses both education and personal growth."

Watch a video highlighting the inaugural year.

Program Expands to 42 Participants in 2013

In February 2013, the program will begin its second year with an additional 22 positions and new locations: the three Nature Centers (Latta, McDowell and Reedy Creek) and the Grady Cole Center.

As part of the 2013 curriculum, mentees will participate in training sessions that cover:
  • Customer service
  • Natural Resources and Outdoor Adventure Programming
  • Youth sports and fitness
  • Job training/ college prep/resume writing tips
Mentees will also have the chance to volunteer in various Park and Rec special events such as Bark in the Park, Fairy House Festival, Senior Games, and Rodney’s Great Kids Triathlon.

For more information on the Recreation Employment Corp. program, contact your nearest Recreation Center or call Heidi Kitterman at 704-336-5673.