This summer, ICT, Inc. is lucky to have 13 central Indy high schoolers working with us to maintain the Trail and help manage the bikeshare program. TeenWorks is a program for selected high schoolers to gain professional experience and college readiness training throughout the summer.
Since 1981, TeenWorks has provided real world work experience, college readiness programs and supportive services for Indianapolis teenagers. While earning a paycheck, the high schoolers learn leadership skills, gain exposure to a professional working environment, participate in volunteer activities and receive six weeks of college prep instruction in areas including presentations, reports, finances and team building.
Thirteen students worked alongside the our Operations team and learned the ins and outs of the Pacers Bikeshare bike maintenance intake procedure, balancing the bikeshare system in the morning for commuters, and carrying out maintenance checks on the ground. As ICT, Inc. is tasked with keeping the eight-mile Cultural Trail landscaped beautifully and clear of litter, these hardworking TeenWorks students regularly pick litter up along the Trail, while logging maintenance and hardscape issues and, most importantly, serving as stellar Cultural Trail ambassadors.
In between intensive work days outside with the litter grabbers and bikeshare balancing, the Teens learned how the Cultural Trail functions as a larger element of Indianapolis and adds to the uniqueness of our City.
Learning from John Hazlett and Sarah Evans of Williams Creek Consulting, the Teens engaged with the experts about the stormwater planters and the benefit they provide to the environment and sewer system infrastructure.
Morgan Greenlee of Visit Indy explained how the Cultural Trail and Pacers Bikeshare are essential for tourism marketing and continue to attract visitors near and far. TeenWorks students asked questions and learned about how Morgan found her way to her position and what are the most exciting parts of her job. One lucky teen even won a prize for fastest Indy trivia recall!
Jamison Hutchins, City of Indianapolis Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator, and Mark Zwoyer from the Department of Public Works talked with the Teens about the Cultural Trail as a piece of the larger Indy bikeways system planning and their process for decision-making. Mark answered questions around what his favorite engineering projects have been, the most challenging Cultural Trail engineering feat and why bridges are so thrilling. The trip to the City County Building included a viewing on the observation deck. Worth it!
We are so lucky and excited to spread the word about TeenWorks! The supervisors of our crew, Shari and Frank, were stellar and the program is led by an outstanding team (Landon, especially)!