Downtown Chapel Hill

Downtown Blog

Career Explorers Program: Searching for Businesses & Nonprofits!

The Career Explorers program is a collaborative effort between community residents, EmPOWERment, Inc., area Police Departments, and local merchants to provide structured summer employment opportunities for youth from traditionally low wealth neighborhoods in Orange County, North Carolina. The intent of the program is to offer individuals age 16 to 21, a challenging and supportive experience that will improve their job skills, expose them to career choices, encourage academic growth and teach them important savings and investment tools.

Additionally, the program offers positive life-skills sessions to youth in our community, and gives local businesses an opportunity to both give back to the community and to benefit from the work of the Career Explorers Interns.

Career Explorers offers ten full time job opportunities to youth ages 16 to 21 from low wealth families in Orange County. This program is intended specifically for youth from households that earn less than 80% of the Area Mean Income (ARI). It affords these youth an opportunity to discover valuable life and career skills that will better prepare them for future employment, teaches those skills necessary to manage their money, and provides them with valuable work experience, assists in their social and emotional development.  

Right now Empowerment Inc. is still short of local businesses and non-profits to place the Interns. This is a great opportunity for a business to experience working with some of the home-grown talent from Orange County. Because of the partnership, the business partner only has to pay $4/hour for the Intern. The Intern is an EmPOWERment employee therefore all payroll taxes and Workman's Comp would be paid by EmPOWERment. The business owner would pay EmPOWERment.

The Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership has been fortunate to be a part of the Career Explorers program for four summers. The work the youth did was meaningful both to them and the entire downtown community!

If your business or nonprofit is interested in participating in Career Explorers contact Delores Bailey at Empowerment Inc.  or  (919) 967-8779. Visit at for more information.