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Citi donates $8,000 to VIA

In support of “Connecting to Success” program

Posted: October 27, 2008 7:10 p.m.
Updated: December 29, 2008 5:00 a.m.

From left to right: Vincent Martucci (Citi Group), Shamiran Mikhael (Citi Group), Christine Van Scoy (Valley Industrial Association), Kathy Norris (Valley Industrial Association), Chelsea Itaya (Valencia High School student), Tracy Moscoe (Valencia High School), Sofia Prevoo (Citi Group), Rashi Kallur (Citi Group), Kathy Scott (Citi Group), Scot...

A dynamic business training program is exposing SCV students to the business world and cultivating their professionalism.

"I learned how to make myself more appealing to employers, what I should put on my resume, how I should look when I show up for an interview, and what I should do at an interview," said Chelsea Itaya, a Valencia High School junior who participated in the program several weeks ago. "It was really helpful to at least be introduced to that kind of stuff."

Citi donated $8,000 to the Valley Industrial Association Friday at Citibank in Saugus in support of its Connecting to Success enrichment program for juniors in high school. The VIA coordinates the program.

"The folks who deliver the training are business professionals from Santa Clarita who take time from their professional lives to teach the kids," said VIA CEO Kathy Norris. "They teach business ethics, working in teams, and a session called ‘communicating your value' which involves interview skills, appearance, and resume building. Next year we will be adding a financial literacy component in a new partnership with the city."

Connecting to Success is a one-day, three-session program held at Grace Baptist Church in Santa Clarita. The program teaches students professionalism and leadership through role-playing activities, case studies, and classroom discussions.

"(The program) puts students in a better place competitively when they're interviewing for jobs," said Norris. "The students are all at the age where they're getting their first jobs, so the interview skills are particularly good for them. We also want to teach them that they will be part of a much larger team and to be comfortable being a piece of that team. And the ethics are very basic; you do what is right because it's the right thing to do."

More than 2,700 high school juniors are expected to participate in the 2008-09 program. Ten of the 40 program facilitators each day are Citi employees residing in the Santa Clarita Valley.

"Another significant thing they mentioned was networking and how important it is to introduce yourself to people because you never know when an opportunity may arise in the future," said Itaya.

Citi Group recognizes the value of preparing high school juniors for the future.

"Education and training are critical, and if we start early enough we can make a difference for a lot of folks," said Vinnie Martucci, Citi Group division training director. "It's an opportunity to reach out to people, to educate them, and to get them to understand that the things that they do now will impact them later on."

Students from seven Santa Clarita high schools have or will participate in the 2008-09 Connecting to Success program. The next sessions are from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Jan. 29, 2009 and Feb. 12, 2009.


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