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The City of Everett: Handling 500 Applications Simultaneously

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City of Everett

Programs

Youth Development

Location

Everett, Massachusetts

In the vibrant and diverse city of Everett, Massachusetts, a dedicated team led by Roberto Velasquez, Assistant Director of Youth and Rec Programming, is making a significant impact on the lives of local youth. With a vision to create year-round opportunities, the City of Everett’s after-school program has witnessed remarkable success.

When Roberto Velasquez first joined Everett’s Mayor’s Office, the after-school program was limited to the summer months. The summer program allowed children at home for summer break to contribute to their community by helping clean the streets, earning them a fair wage for their hard work. However, amidst the challenges of the pandemic years, Velasquez recognized the potential to enhance youth development and ensure they gain something more out of it.

“I believed we could provide them with real workforce opportunities,” and so he began forging partnerships with various organizations. This led to the creation of the Youth Services Department, which supports youth as workforce professionals within the community year round

Today, they partner with businesses, various trades, and nonprofit organizations in the community, such as auto body shops and medical field mechanics, among others. The community gave a positive response; the program has a full house of organizations actively involved or eager to participate.

My goal and one of my missions is to make sure that every kid gets an opportunity to get interviewed and have a shot at a position in the program,” affirmed Roberto Velasquez. With that, many of their kids have been offered a job position at their chosen place.

City of Everett’s Next Step: Streamlining

As many teams might relate, Velasquez’s team contemplated changing the application process for a while. However, when the overwhelming response of 500 applicants crashed their previous system, there was no looking back. They needed an upgrade, and they needed it ASAP.

That’s when AfterSchool HQ entered the scene. Velasquez had a specific question during his meeting with our team, “Can you guys handle 500 kids applying at once?” For them, it was crucial to have a functioning platform on registration day. “And this summer showed that [AfterSchool HQ] was capable of that.”

Before AfterSchool HQ, paperwork was being shuffled around and emails were getting lost in spam. Undoubtedly, there was a lot of disconnection, “but AfterSchool HQ helped us streamline it all and bring everything together.” For instance, all their diverse workforce opportunities can now be viewed through the program’s platform page, and kids can easily register for their favorites. As a result, Velasquez noticed a surge in excitement among the kids to work over the summer.

What Velasquez Says About AfterSchool HQ

Kids these days are glued to their phones, so one of the key features for Velasquez is the ability to access the platform through the AfterSchool HQ app. They can use the QR code, view everything, “and basically fill everything out right there.” Through the phone, they also receive notices, and the team can directly message their students. “AfterSchool HQ is a fantastic way for youth to stay updated on what’s happening in the community,” assured Roberto Velasquez.

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