Generation Go’ Nurtures Student Success

Not unlike a lot of high school students these days, Richard Jones just needed a little nudge in the right direction from someone who cared. His principal noticed he was getting off track at school and suggested that what he really needed was to get into something positive. Jones found it at San Bernardino Valley College. 
“Once I got into the Valley College program, I’ve seen that there’s more to the world than just making the dumb decisions,” said Jones, a senior at San Andreas High School, who interned over the summer at Garner Holt Productions. 
After completing a prerequisite 72-hour Valley College workforce preparation class, Jones said that interning at the world’s leading animatronics manufacturer offered him a creative new way of thinking about a career in robotic technology, not to mention forming better relationships with his family. Jones, 17, is discovering the possibilities at the Garner Holt Education through Imagination, where he proved his technical abilities and is now on the payroll. Through the applied learning program, he is now considering a career in mechanical engineering. 
“I like that I’m able to see how people can take ideas from their head, or from a piece of paper and actually make it something real, something you can touch, and you can see and actually experience it,” he said. 
Prior to starting with Garner Holt, he would often get discouraged on projects and give up too quickly, but he said the internship challenged him to stay focused and engaged. “When you get a project here, no matter what, you have to somehow make that project kind of taught me to keep pushing for it,” he said. In collaboration with the County of San Bernardino Generation Go Grant and a partnership with San Bernardino Valley College, Jones was one of 26 San Bernardino Unified School District High School students that recently finished the internship. 
Before the students graduate high school, they are able to acquire college credits, achieve valuable work experience, and receive certificates in high demand fields. The program partners with the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Department and 33 school districts and nine colleges and businesses. 
He and the other students were co-enrolled in college, earning education credit while getting paid minimum wage through the 120-hour internship through San Bernardino County’s County’s Workforce Development Department award-winning Generation Go! The Career Pathways program helps students access work experience, and work-based learning activities as part of San Bernardino County’s Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).