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MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – It’s an active Wednesday morning at the Best Western plus Atlantic Beach Resort on Miami Beach and 16-year old Melissa Calvillo, a soon to be senior at Miami Beach High School, is busy working the front desk.

Melissa is part of the five-week summer youth internship program created by the Children’s Trust, Miami-Dade County Government, and CareerSource South Florida for students ages 15-18 in Miami-Dade County Schools.

“We have nearly three-thousand kids enrolled and working this summer in paid internships,” said Donovan Lee-Sin, director of youth summer internships at the Children’s Trust.

The program’s mission is to keep kids busy during the summer, give them a chance to learn and earn money and it’s a chance to experience what’s to come.

“First it builds a professional network; I’ve never had a professional network at age 15 or 16. And so it gives them a place to work even after this program is finished, so it gives a glimpse of what the future could be,” said Lee-Sin.

Barbara Romano is the General Manager of the Best Western Plus. She says they have been working for the summer internship program for years.

She says she knew there was something special about Melissa when she walked through the door for her interview.

“We always look for personality in hospitality. We always say we can teach anything but you can’t teach personality. So she came with a lot of that and she’s very positive very outgoing. Her smile says it all,” said Romano.

In addition to the front desk Melissa also spends time in the executive offices learning operations and the business part of the hotel industry.

“This is real adult work place. I got to see what it is to really work. I never had a job. This is my first job so i got experience how it is so now I know in future how work is,” said Melissa.

It’s clear to all that the front desk is the place Melissa enjoys best.

“I like interacting with guests  most of them speak Spanish and my co-workers don’t really speak  Spanish, so I go and help and interact with them and I get along with  them and I like helping them out,” said Melissa.

Romano tells us that the whole staff has come to enjoy working with Melissa and they consider her a part of the tea. Melissa is grateful for the opportunity.

“I was resistant at first, but I’m glad i got this experience because I would do it again,” said Melissa.

For more information on the summer internship program head to https://miami.getmyinterns.org/

If you are a mentor and would like to share your story with us, please email us at mentoringmatters@cbs.com.

Click here for more Mentoring Matters.

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