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Second In A Series: Summer Youth Employment

An Intern At Telemundo Credits His Parents With Keeping Him On Task

By Jeff Cohen

August 03, 2010

Summertime in Hartford is often filled with stories of young people doing the wrong things. But this week, WNPR is taking a look at a summer youth employment program that has Hartford students taking a different path.

Capital Workforce Partners runs a program to train, employ, and pay Hartford-area students. In the second in a series, WNPR's Jeff Cohen introduces us to Chris Walters -- an intern at Telemundo Hartford/Springfield.

Walters is a 19-year-old Weaver High School graduate and is now a student at Capital Community College. This job marks his fourth summer working in the intern program. Before that came a stint in an art studio and another in a city cemetery.

ďI never really saw myself working in certain places like a cemetery. At first it thought I wasn't going to do it. But then itís like, as I got into it, it wasnít as bad as I thought it was. And plus I didnít have to deal with the dead bodies."

Walters says he likes working. And even if he didn't, he'd still be on the right road.

"Yeah, pretty much, because, if I wasn't, my mother would kill me. She was a big influence, and so was my father. Watching them as I grew up, it was like a real inspiration to do right, especially since I know all the stuff that they went through and all the opportunities that they didn't have. So the fact that I have all these opportunities, I take advantage of them."

"My name is Fran Morales. I am the marketing and promotions coordinator for Telemundo Hartford/Springfield. I see so much potential in him. You know, you could even see from the boy who first came in here. He is a shy kid. But now he comes in and he's just excited to come to work. He has a sense of, like, ownership."

"This week and last week I've been downstairs in master control with Peter and Gaetano learning how to operate the system. If I can like learn how to work the system, then I can cover for him and then later on they could use me to cover for anybody else that leaves during school."

Walters is still learning how to control master control. But he says he'll get the hang of it. If he doesn't, that's okay. Television production isn't his dream. Designing and building his own house is. To make it happen, he wants to finish his degrees in architecture and business at Capital Community College before moving on to a four-year school.

"Designing your own house is like one big way of expressing yourself. I would have my own opinions, I'd get to express myself when I make something. Owning your own house as an adult is like one of the first steps to actually saying you are an adult when you can actually, like, buy something of your own."

Listen tomorrow for a story on another Hartford student working at an insurance company.

Reprinted with permission of Jeff Cohen, author of the blog Capital Region Report. To view other stories on this topic, search Capital Region Report at http://capitalregionreport.wordpress.com/.
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