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Home Annual Impact Report Apple Valley High School
Apple Valley High School

Zabrianna Evans, intern at
Thomson Reuters and student
at Apple Valley High School,
and
Jim Lynch, Program Manager of
STEM programming at
Apple Valley High School.

STUDENT STORIES

It’s not hard to see that Genesys Works Twin Cities young professionals Zabrianna Evans and Bryam Alvarado are thriving. Zabrianna is a part of the Legal Technology Infrastructure and Operations Team at Thomson Reuters, where she works on a number of data-driven projects. She’s vibrant, engaging, and a natural leader who has learned project coordination and implementation skills in addition to what it means to collaborate and work on a highly driven team. Zabrianna explained, “I feel like I’ve grown as a leader since joining Genesys Works, but now I also have the skill set to be a team member as well, which is something I struggled with for a very long time.”

Bryam is part of the Information Services department at Toro, where he works on database management, computer and software installments, and onboarding and offboarding functions. In this role, he utilizes his sharpened software troubleshooting, time management, and effective communication skills. And he sees the value in it: in the future, he explained, “The knowledge and skills that I have gained through Genesys Works will help me obtain new opportunities.”

Both Bryam and Zabrianna went the extra mile and earned positions as Student Ambassadors at their high school, Apple Valley High School (AVHS), where they are entrusted to help inform, influence, and recruit students to the Genesys Works Twin Cities program. The two succeed in their respective roles for a handful of reasons: they are motivated and thoughtful; they care deeply about professional and personal growth; they are receptive to feedback and eager to learn; and they are supported by tremendous program coordinators, supervisors, and mentors.

But, that’s only half the story – that’s the current reality, that’s what their worlds look like now. The other story – the story we’d be remiss to overlook – is about how Zabrianna and Bryam, and students like them, were first able to intersect with Genesys Works Twin Cities.

Enter Jim Lynch, the Program Manager of STEM programming at Apple Valley High School.

Since joining AVHS, Jim has worked diligently to promote and nurture a close relationship between the school and Genesys Works. Jim explained that the key components to AVHS’s program, called E3 STEM, are enhanced STEM education, career education, and preparation for and promotion of employment within the field. Jim first learned about Genesys Works when he attended the annual Draft Day event. He saw the strong mission alignment between the program at his school and Genesys Works, and the energy and excitement had him hooked immediately.

To champion this critical partnership, Jim promotes Genesys Works to juniors in the E3 STEM program. As part of the program, AVHS provides logistical support, guidance and mentorship to students throughout the entire process, from the application process to the internship itself. And Jim has seen the influence of this partnership, lauding the development of project management, interpersonal, communication, and marketable technical skills among his students.

He’s seen these personal and professional gains first hand in Bryam and Zabrianna. He’s seen Bryam become more confident in public speaking and in his interpersonal relationships: “This young man just exudes a quiet confidence that I think will take him far in life.”

With pride, he went on, “I have witnessed a tremendous amount of growth in Zabrianna in her ability to work collaboratively among her peers and with adults. I was amazed by the demeanor of Zabrianna when we sat down to meet for the first time as a group to plan for recruitment. I felt I was working with a professional, young woman.”

What’s next for these three? Bryam and Zabrianna are in the homestretch in their year-long internships and are building up momentum for what’s next: Bryam hopes to study computer science or accounting in college; Zabrianna plans to pursue nursing in college, and ultimately specializing in midwifery.

And Jim?

He continues his thoughtful and dedicated stewardship of AVHS’s E3 STEM program and their close relationship with Genesys Works. Sure, he’s at a different life stage than our two young professionals, but he’s got aspirations, too: “I hope to continue the increase in students choosing to participate in Genesys Works as the target population of students we serve in this area continues to grow. I also hope to help in this effort by supporting the recruitment of corporate partners in the south suburban area to increase the opportunities for students in our area to gain Genesys Works internships locally,” explained Jim.