Our Summer Youth Employment Program is more than just a summer job. It’s an experience. Youth are matched with business mentors in our community who expose them to career paths, teach them to carry themselves as young professionals, and provide them with opportunities to learn to thrive in the workplace.
Susan Rozman, owner of Fiddlehead Gallery in Cleveland’s Larchmere neighborhood, is one of the dedicated, local entrepreneurs who make our Summer Youth Employment Program a success. Her gallery supports local, national, and international artisans, and she sells everything from jewelry and felted wool blankets to metal sculptures and playful animal puppets.
Rozman honed her skills managing the Cleveland Museum of Natural History store and a craft gallery for more than two decades. She participates in Y.O.U.’s Summer Youth Employment Program as an employer because she wants youth to have an opportunity to be in the retail stores on Larchmere, realize the products people make, and expose them to different crafts.
“There are plenty of things I can teach kids, and I wanted to work with them,” she said.
The youth who work with Rozman help her with displays and store layouts. They also interact with customers and learn customer service.
“It really is about inviting them into the workings of a business,” Rozman said. “Everyone needs to understand what a time commitment it is [for the experience] to be fruitful for [the youth]. There’s a lot of honest evaluation at every meeting. ‘This is what didn’t go well, and this is how we have to adjust going forward.”
Rozman is in involved in some of her neighborhood’s festivals and events. She says many of the youth she works with already understand the value of community service; they’re active in their churches and help at soup kitchens, but she wants to set an example. She wants to teach them that local businesses have a responsibility to serve their communities.
Thank you, Susan, for making the time to teach our youth. We appreciate you and your commitment to growing the next generation of Clevelanders.
Learn more about Susan and Fiddlehead Gallery.
Have you employed Y.O.U. participant? Want to share your experience with us? Contact us at email@example.com.