For Garrison Graham, now a Best Buy product flow specialist in Virginia, what started out as weekly visits to his local Teen Tech Center has now evolved into a paid, in-store internship experience.
Earlier this year, Garrison was given the opportunity to become one of 20 in our Career Pathways program, which focuses on the career development of the members of Teen Tech Centers, where he transitioned from Teen Tech Center member to Best Buy intern.
Best Buy Teen Tech Centers® provide safe, after-school spaces where teens can get hands-on experience with the latest technology alongside adult mentors and volunteers. Through the centers, teens have the opportunity to be a part of our Career Pathways program, which aims to create internship opportunities, career-readiness, and hard-skills training for their future careers in STEM or the creative economy.
“We value the unique perspectives and experiences that these teens bring to the table,” said Andrea Riehl, an associate director in Best Buy’s social impact department. “It’s important for us to provide an environment where young people feel confident to share their knowledge in the tech space and turn their Teen Tech Center learnings into real-world, working experiences.”
A place to explore
Garrison credits Teen Tech Centers for the space they provided for him to learn and explore his dreams.
“One of my favorite things about the Teen Tech Center is the space that it creates to learn,” said Garrison. “I love to learn, and now that I have an atmosphere like this with the freedom to do and be whoever I want, the possibilities are endless.”
His manager, Kenneth Anthony, said Garrison stood out from the beginning for his passion in everything he does.
“You write your resume every day,” said Kenneth. “And as I watched Garrison, his vision and passion not only for tech, but for what it looks like to truly help people, he showed me that he was special.”
Garrison will be attending college in the fall to study computer information sciences. With these experiences under his belt, he has taken his learnings and brought them not only into Best Buy stores, but into his own business ideas as well.
“Don’t be afraid of the opportunities that are given to you,” said Garrison. “Many of us are afraid of change or unknowns, but these experiences have improved me as a person and changed me for the better.”
There are currently 50 Best Buy Teen Tech Centers in operation across the country.
To learn more about the Best Buy Teen Tech Center® program, visit bestbuy.com/teentechcenter.