WorkWonder gets real about engaging learners with how the businesses world works
In March 2020, COVID-19 threatened to shut down an in-person summer Internship program run by Bayha Group and nearly 200 public high school students in Downey Unified School District. Bayha Group understands a collaborative “remote” workplace drives innovation and creativity in any industry. Motivated by years of wondering, “Why don’t we ask youth what they think?” Bayha Group hired 8 high school 11th-graders in early May to co-design the experience.
WorkWonder was born. The world is changing, and learning institutions must adapt. Employer priority demands creative, inclusive employees who problem-solve, produce, and innovate from home. WorkWonder thrives in a public school district where 70% of 22,101 K-12 students qualify for free/reduced-price lunch and 89% are Hispanic/Latino. WorkWonder Internships are funded with public grant funds, and provide a workplace model to young people in under-resourced, diverse communities.
Internships are jobs. WorkWonder Internships featured design-thinking and project-based learning. Interns identified a curiosity, issue, or problem to explore. Interns entered WorkWonder looking for something more meaningful than cramming for exams, memorizing facts, and fretting about anything less than a stellar grade point average. Instead, Interns learned workplace expectations such as "on-time-is-late," the importance of time management, clear communication, self-motivation, and producing high-quality work. Interns designed their work experiences with guidance from their co-workers and mentors. In their last week at work, Interns publicly presented their collaborative experiences in documentary and short filmmaking, experiential learning, finance, hip hop, product invention, or virtual reality.
WorkWonder is an ongoing project for Bayha Group. Hiring is underway for Interns to continue co-design and implementation with additional public school districts. WorkWonder's innovation includes marketing, branding, and showcasing Interns' work —all factors that promote high-quality early work experiences. Bayha Group welcomes Interns as guest speakers along with industry professionals in the weekly livestream show, "Co-Design Work with Wonder." Newly hired Interns will soon run the livestream show, giving them work experience while spotlighting the work of other Interns and notable guests.