Youth Jobs Program helps students find their place

Mary Lyons Hunter, PsyD, director of Behavioral Health at MGH Chelsea HealthCare Center, shared her story with a group of teenagers at the beginning of their career-finding journeys at a July 12 Helping Each Other event.
Thu Jul 25, 2019
FACING THE FUTURE: Lyons Hunter talks with students.

“I look around this place and I know these are my people. These are the people I admire. These are the people I want to be like.”

That may be the case now for Mary Lyons Hunter, PsyD, director of Behavioral Health at MGH Chelsea HealthCare Center, but there was a time when she did not feel that way. During a meeting in her previous career in medical sales, Lyons Hunter looked around the table and thought “these are not my people.” Now, after 21 years, she has found her place treating patients at MGH Chelsea.

Lyons Hunter shared her story with a group of teenagers at the beginning of their own career-finding journeys at the July 12 Helping Each Other event, hosted by the MGH Youth Jobs Program in the MGH Center for Community Health Improvement. “My wish for all of you is that you follow where your curiosity takes you and you find your place,” said Lyons Hunter.

During the event, six high school students participating in the MGH Youth Jobs program shared their daily tasks, challenges they have encountered and advice with seventh and eighth grade students from Chelsea’s Jordan Boys and Girls Club Young Leaders Program.

“My biggest challenge so far has been the walkie-talkies,” said Emely Espinal, who is working in Police and Security. “Sometimes they are hard to understand but I know that I will get better at it. The staff are all really funny. Everyone here is like a family and they look out for you.”

The MGH Youth Jobs Program offers Boston-area high school students paid summer jobs – 25 hours a week for 8 weeks. Participants work in departments including Pediatrics, Radiology and Primary Care at MGH Chelsea.

“We try to make it less of a summer job and more of a summer experience,” says Patricia Simpson, RN, who coordinates and mentors the students in the MGH Chelsea Jobs for Youth Program.

This year, Simpson designed the enrichment activities around the theme of Helping Each Other. “It is the core of what we do here at the health center. It’s been magical working with these students, they are contributing so much already”.



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