The Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans opened their Work and Learn Center in 2019, and since then, they have trained dozens of students in career readiness and digital literacy.
Students can even win a free laptop upon completion of the program.
"We support our students in either getting them employment, or getting a paid internship, or going back to school, or they can work for us in our Social Enterprise," coordinating manager D'Jomme Adia said.
With the Social Enterprise program, students are able to get real world experience by practicing their skills.
The opportunity pays students and bridges their graphic design skills with local businesses and nonprofits, looking for support on their social media and marketing campaigns.
The program is aimed at young Houstonians ages 16-24 who have faced obstacles in their professional development.
"For people who are interested in marketing and social media, we teach the basics and this program is great for people who are interested in those fields," said Patrick Grady, a WLC graphic design instructor who specializes in teaching software like Adobe Illustrator or Canva.
But this is not all the WLC is known for. Students here have found a community of likeminded individuals working together to achieve a common goal.
"The Work and Learn Center has a really nice environment," student Christopher Olaya said. "The instructors are very friendly and fun and open to talk to you. When we come here, we are ready to improve."
"It's like riding a bike," student Kenneth Gutierrez said. "The things I've learned with the Work and Learn Center will stick with me for the rest of my life."
Students enter the WLC by completing a cohort application. Once applicants pass an interview process, they are enrolled in the 6-week paid training course.
The WLC is currently taking applications now through Sept. 12, 2022. If you are interested, you can apply here.