BULLHEAD CITY — Tri-State Youth Internship and Leadership, established in 2018, is having a community collaboration lunch and learn Thursday for anyone interested in learning more about the program.
The event is taking place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Western Arizona Regional Medical Center Bistro with congressional candidate Anne Marie Ward as a guest speaker. An RSVP must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or 928-704-7127 to be part of the luncheon.
“This event is for people who want to learn more about the program, those who want to become associate members, people who want to mentor the kids, businesses who want to do the internship, so it’s open for anyone to come,” said Waheed Zehri, chief of staff at WARMC and founder and CEO of Tri-State Youth Internship and Leadership. “We have people coming from Kingman, Lake Havasu, the colleges and high schools.”
Zehri said that the Tri-State Youth Internship and Leadership program has grown a lot over the last year.
“I think all the credit goes to the volunteer people working in Bullhead City and also those who came from Kingman and Lake Havasu,” said Zehri. “Also, credit is due to the businesses who came forward to help us in mentoring all the youth.”
Zehri said that last year, there were 25 youths in the internship program and of those 25, six got full-time jobs at the places that they interned.
“This is very important,” said Zehri. “Our main thing is to keep our workforce and youth in our area.”
Zehri said that in 2020, the plan for the program is to extend to Kingman and Lake Havasu City.
“Anne Marie Ward and I have presented the program to the Kingman High School District, we are going to present to the Kingman City Council and we are going to present to the Lake Havasu School District,” Zehri said.
The target for this year is to get at least 16 paid interns in Bullhead City and 10 in both Lake Havasu and Kingman.
“Our application for internships will be from Feb. 24 through March 31,” said Zehri. “The applicant can get the application from their counselor, from our website or our Facebook (page). Then we are going to do an orientation for the mentors on April 1 and then we are going to do an orientation for all the interns in each city with the date being announced later.
“We are going to be making medical and nonmedical committees that will go through the applications to select the interns throughout Mohave County. Then we will do the final selection and announce the interns on April 15. The internship will start from June 1 to July 15, four hours a day, a minimum payment of $12 an hour with a total of 120 (hours) for six weeks. They will get credit at the high school level and they will get credit at the college level depending on their area of expertise. We are going to have a graduation on July 30.”
The Tri-State Youth Internship and Leadership program is a nonprofit. Jina Covertte, career and technical education director for the Colorado River Union High School District, is vice president; board members are Emily Stevens, chief nursing officer at WARMC; Carolyn Hamblin, dean at Mohave Community College’s Bullhead City campus; Devin Porter; and Bullhead City Mayor Tom Brady.
“We have 26 associate members; anybody in the community who would like to volunteer can become an associate member,” said Zehri. “Anybody who wants to become an associate member, they will help us during the events and all the committees that we are going to form. They also will continue to monitor and mentor the kids while they are doing the internships. To become an associate member, they have to fill out a form and it has to be approved by the board.”
Zehri said that 70 businesses have signed a letter of intent to be part of the program across all types of industries ranging from construction to internet technology to medical.
“We are requesting all the businesses in Mohave County to come to the lunch on Jan. 23 and learn more about Tri-State Youth Internship and Leadership,” Zehri said.