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Putting the 'career' in college and career ready

Half of the girls there just came to meet the guy who designs some of Justin Beiber’s sneakers. But everyone left with a sense of how, with a lot of hard work, you can turn a passion into a career. Several teens joined the club on the spot.

Last spring’s sneaker design workshop was just one of the career-centric aspects of Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley’s (BGCSV) new Career Launch program. This new initiative tackles the “career ready” half of the oft-quoted goal of making Sonoma teens “college and career ready” by graduation.

While the program is still in its early stages, it is generating buzz among teen members. The club will dedicate a large portion of the funds raised by its October Fashion in the Vineyards event to the program.

Onboard this month to take the reins of the program is new hire Eric Martinez.

Martinez received his master’s degree in counseling from Sonoma State and his undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley. Prior to coming to Sonoma, he was an academic, career and social counselor at Napa High School and at Silverado Middle School. He is bilingual and has the added bonus of being an experienced residential social/emotional/substance abuse and mental health counselor.

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