Meet the young people who helped fuel U-M’s engine this summer

August 28, 2018

U-M’s Summer Jobs Program connects area youth to units across campus

This summer, 50+ youth from across Washtenaw County helped fuel the operations at the University of Michigan. They were part of Summer18: a Summer Youth Employment Program, run in partnership between the university, Washtenaw County, and
Michigan Works! Southeast.

Meet a few of the hard working young people who took on various roles across campus.

Jayland Wilson
High School Senior
Summer Job: Information Technology Services (ITS) Service Center

Jayland Wilson

During his experience this summer, Ypsilanti native Jayland Wilson realized he has a passion for technology and customer service.

Jayland worked for the University of Michigan’s Information and Technology Services (ITS) Service Center where they help navigate computer software issues across all departments on campus. Jayland shadowed ITS staff as they troubleshooted technology issues on campus.

He helped develop presentations on how to create tagging systems and worked on a digital game that helps to train new staff. All throughout, Jayland learned how important customer service is to overall job performance.

“At the ITS Service Center there’s a real sense of connection between the colleagues and the customers,” Jayland says. “We all work together to accomplish any task at hand.”

Before his summer experience, Jayland had never considered an IT career and says it opened his eyes to a real area of interest. Working with the ITS Service Center helped him shaped which skill sets were important, and others to work on.

This fall, Jayland will attend Pioneer High School while still looking onto career options in the IT field.

Tyisha Thompson
Recent high school graduate
Summer Job: University of Michigan Athletics Department

Tyisha Thompson

Tyisha Thompson is back for her second year as a Summer 18 employee — this year with the University of Michigan Athletics Department.

Born and raised in Alabama and now an Ypsilanti resident, Tyisha says she is thankful for the  program and everyone that she has come in contact with over the last two years.

Last summer, while working with graduate students at her post at U-M’s Institute for Social Research (ISR), Tyisha’s job experience doubled as her high school senior project. She was able to work with and learn from ISR graduate students while researching the topic of suicide awareness (and earned an “A” on her final project).

This summer, Tyisha took on a range of tasks during her time with U-M Athletics, from mail sorting to assisting with on-boarding for newly hired U-M employees. She says working with the Athletics Department helped her become a better employee and counselor, and the enrichment sessions built into the summer program helped her to better understand college life.

“This job gives me a lot of opportunities to think about my own career choice. I didn’t think about working in the athletics field, but the trained guidance counselors who helped athletes with their futures careers, guided me as well,” says Tyisha.

Tyisha will continue working with Athletics next summer alongside Maurice Washington, the director of the U-M Athletics Career Center. Tyisha plans to pursue psychology and criminology when she attends Washtenaw Community College in the fall.

Tiaja Wynn
Recent Eastern Michigan University graduate
Summer Job: University of Michigan Towsley Children’s House

Tiaja Wynn

This summer Tiaja Wynn worked closely with the littlest Wolverines on campus at U-M’s Towsley Children’s House, one of the university’s three preschools for children of staff and faculty.

“Towsley Children’s House has taught me that children are an inspirational tool for learning,” Tiaja says of her time as a teacher’s assistant. “You really learn a lot from children through play.”

During her time at Towsley, Tiaja learned about how to design a play-based curriculum that evolves and adapts to meet the needs and interests of the children. She worked with her colleagues to ensure that children of all ages enjoyed group activities including music, art, cooking, science projects, and enriching field trips.

Tiaja credits Summer 18 as a catalyst for future employment. She will continue working as a  substitute assistant teacher at Towsley Children’s House while she pursues a master’s degree in social work from Eastern Michigan University.

Esteban Guzman
High School Senior
Summer Job: Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy Dean’s Office

Esteban Guzman

This summer Esteban Guzman joined the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy as an office assistant in the Dean’s office — a bustling environment any time of year. While working on office organization and other administrative duties, his detailed-oriented approach allowed him to focus on project management tasks.

“I never thought that I would want to work in a typical office setting, but I thought that it would be really cool to work for University of Michigan since I am a die hard Michigan sports fan,” says Esteban. “Working over the summer through this program definitely extended my resources and connections.”

At the Ford School, every day was a new adventure for Esteban. Whether prepping for important meetings or developing documents, he was ready to take on new challenges. Esteban says meeting different staff around the building and knowing that he can work in a productive environment impacted his outlook.

“Working with the Summer 18 program has prepared me with job experience and abilities to use in the real world. Everything that I am working towards that I can use in the future, either when I apply for college or go on to another full time position,” he says.

When he graduates from high school, Esteban wants to apply to the University of Michigan.

Illeanna Phillips
Recent high school graduate
Summer Job: Center for the Education of Women+

Illeanna Phillips

Illeana Phillips spent the summer working for the Center for the Education of Women+ (CEW+), a U-M center established to support women through higher education, working with underserved communities at U-M and beyond.

Working for CEW+ Illeana worked with several departments, helping to schedule appointments with students and faculty, sorting files, and tackling other administrative duties.

“Summer18 helped me find a good, temporary job position for the summer,” she says. “High school and college graduates really need opportunities like this to gain experience for work life.”

In the fall, Illeanna will be attend Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island where she plans to pursue a nursing program.