Recently we celebrated the end of the summer with our two current “dreamers,” our summer interns from the Colorado I Have a Dream Foundation, or CIHAD. Both Kayden Garcia and Marissa Medina became members of CIHAD in 2004 when they were both third graders at Smedley and Fairview Elementary Schools, respectively. Kayden is a member of the The McLoraine Class, led by Program Director Erin Larrabee, and Marissa is a member of the McHugh class, led by Program Director Peter Noel. They both returned to Intertech Plastics this year for their second time.
This endeavor supports CIHAD’s philosophy of long-term commitment, as it closes in on the completion of a ten-year long commitment of 55 students, two of whom are Kayden and Marissa. Their summer internships at Intertech supported the branded product division Twist Body Brands, and the fulfillment of its products involving custom pad printing and product assembly. Each was required to set goals for the summer term, as well as report on their successes and lessons learned.
For Kayden, his main goal of the summer was to embrace his affinity of graphic design, and further hone his art skills. By working with Head Designer Randy Zwingler, and pad printing supervisor Eric Delgado, Kayden was able to create a Twist & Pout ball of his own design, creating a lasting memory of his experience, and a lasting impression in the Twist Body Brand organization. In his own words, Kayden was able to find his “inner artist,” and now carries his custom printed lip balm with him proudly, as he returns to complete his senior year of high school. Kayden claims we was “was way more focused” this year compared to last, an increase in maturity with which his supervisors at Intertech would concur, and we look forward to seeing big things from Kayden in the future.
Kayden has always been an exceptional and talented young man; unique in his own right and full of grand hopes for his future. The guidance and mentorship Kayden has received from his supervisors Oscar Olivas and Matt Leiphart during his internship at Intertech Plastics has allowed him to formulate a concrete plan for his post-secondary studies. Oscar and Matt spent a great deal of time this summer working with Kayden on goal-setting and skill development. As a result, Kayden has grown tremendously in terms of his professionalism, and has been able to successfully transfer the skills he learned working at Intertech to both his schooling and his personal interactions. The highlight of Kayden’s summer was undoubtedly getting to create his own design for a lip balm case. He lights up any time he can proudly display his lip balm, and will happily recant the story about the design process. The high-level skills he learned by using advanced software have given him tremendous confidence to pursue his dreams. This would not have been possible without the guidance and support of his supervisors at Intertech.
Erin Larrabee, Program Director.
For Marissa, she continues to work at Twist Body Brands, and has committed to completing her GED by the end of the year. Oscar Olivas, Marissa’s Supervisor at Intertech and former CIHAD Dreamer, is holding her to that, saying “this is a significant opportunity, and a chance for Marissa to really make something of herself. We’ve invested a lot in Marissa, and it’s important to us, her family, and most importantly herself, that she completes her education.”
This summer Marissa worked on learning pad printing, learning how to set up as well as operate jobs. Also her second year here, her level of professionalism and maturity is significantly improved, as she develops into an integral role at Intertech Plastics. She also met with the executive management team and presented improvement opportunities for the internship program moving forward, with good suggestions, demonstrating improved confidence and initiative, skills we know will benefit her throughout her life and career.
The Work IS Success summer internship program has been successful beyond our wildest dreams, due in large part to companies taking a vested interest in not only the program but also the person. In no instance is that truer than the relationship that Marissa has with the Intertech Plastics family. Oscar Olivas and the rest of the staff have invested their energies into making sure Marissa is successful both at work and in school. The progress that Marissa is showing towards earning her GED is directly linked to the confidence, drive and work ethic that she has developed while at Intertech. Marissa has reached one goal, which was to earn a job, and she is making steady progress towards her goal of earning a GED. Well done Marissa and thank you, Intertech Plastics!
Peter Noel, Program Director
To learn more about the Colorado I Have a Dream Foundation, please visit http://www.cihadf.org/