Sharing his business skills


Published: Thursday, January 11, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 10, 2007 at 1:58 p.m.
Some students at Eastside High School are better prepared to handle job interviews thanks to the efforts of an east Gainesville resident who volunteers at the school.
Sam Wesley, a local bails bondsman and businessman, said he was approached by a fellow member of the African American Accountability Alliance, or 4As, to volunteer with the local Junior Achievement program to teach a class called ''Success Skills.''
"Nona Jones asked me if I would volunteer, and I told her yes," Wesley said. "I used to work with kids at the Corner Drug Store and at Job Corps."
Wesley said he has been going to Eastside High School every Thursday for the past seven weeks to teach a 45-minute class on interpersonal skills.
"Sam has done a good job with the students," said Diane Smith, education manager of the local chapter of Junior Achievement. "He taught them how to influence someone and how to build rapport with people. He has taught them how to present themselves to employers and how to shake hands, maintain eye contact, basic interviewing skills, and how to write cover letters and resumes."
Junior Achievement uses hands-on experiences to help young people understand the economics of life. In partnership with businesses and educators, Junior Achievement brings the real world to students, opening their minds to their potential.
On last Thursday, 15 students in the class visited Wesley's office at 739 NW 5th Ave. to participate in mock interviews with a manager from McDonald's, Junior Achievement's Smith, local attorney Kevin McNeill, Jerald Gaines, the owner of IFIX Computers, and Wesley's secretary, Teretha Lattimore.
The students had a chance to put what they had learned to work.
""I learned that it is important to stay composed in interviews," said 16-year-old Mario Hayes, an Eastside 10th-grader with aspirations of working in corporate America. "It is important to know what to do and what not to do in an interview. Presentation is the whole key.
"He teaches us how to act and conduct ourselves during the interview. The things he has taught me will definitely help me when I go to look for a job."
Ashley Mills, 15, who also is in the 10th grade, said she learned some valuable lessons from Wesley.
"I've learned that I can achieve whatever I want to in life," Ashley said. "He taught us not to be nervous in interviews, but to just be ourselves, and to use the skills that I have to the best of my ability."
Before the students participated in the mock interviews, attorney McNeill talked to them about what it takes to be successful. He used to work for Wesley when he was younger, and Wesley invited him to be a part of the program to show the students that success is attainable.
McNeill, the first black lawyer to work in one of the area's oldest law firms, DellGraham, urged the students to study hard and to not let anything that has happened in their lives to keep them from realizing their dreams.
"Don't let your past determine your future," he said.
Wesley also announced that one of the six honor roll students in the class would be getting hired by him after an interview with his secretary.
"I like to reward success," he said. "I was an honor roll student, and I know it takes a lot of hard work."
Wesley is a 1977 graduate of Eastside. He earned a bachelor's degree in sociology and political science from Knoxville College in Tennessee. He has been married to his wife, Betty Hargot, for 13 years. He has two sons, Myron, 24, and Jalen, 11.
He said the Junior Achievement program is very much needed.
"This is very important and Junior Achievement is a great program," Wesley said. "They really target kids at the age where they are still impressionable. It's an honor to be here. It's been more fun than I thought it would be.
"I have a real nice class, and it is important to me to give back to the community because there were so many people who played a part in my life when I was their age. I went to Eastside, so whenever I can go back and give something to the kids, it is important for me to do so."
Wesley said it is important for the students to set goals and to map out a plan of how to achieve them.
"Don't let your friends tell you what to do," is what Wesley said he stresses to the students. He said even though the program with Junior Achievement is over, he plans to continue to work with the students.
"I probably will continue to work with the kids on my own to teach them the importance of investing their money wisely while they are young," he said.
Sylvia Walker, the career counselor at Eastside who accompanied the students to Wesley's office, said she was impressed with Wesley.
"I saw his last presentation, and I thought it was excellent," Walker said. "The kids are excited to be getting this opportunity. This is good exposure for them, and this will inspire and motivate them.
"I really like the fact that he recognized the honor roll students. That speaks volumes about what they are doing."
Photos by TIM HUSSIN/Special to the Guardian Businessman Sam Wesley takes a break from teaching a class in conjunction with the local Junior Achievement program. The class, which was composed of Eastside High School sophomores, got the chance to practice interviewing with local professionals.
Wesley laughs with the students in his ''Success Skills'' class during an interview practice session at his business on NW 5th Avenue. ''It is important to me to give back to the community because there were so many people who played a part in my life when I was their age,'' said Wesley.
Sharing his business skills Sam Wesley participates in Junior Achievement program involving Eastside High students By CLEVELAND TINKER Special to the Guardian Some students at Eastside High School are better prepared to handle job interviews thanks to the efforts of an east Gainesville resident who volunteers at the school.
Sam Wesley, a local bails bondsman and businessman, said he was approached by a fellow member of the African American Accountability Alliance, or 4As, to volunteer with the local Junior Achievement program to teach a class called ''Success Skills.''
"Nona Jones asked me if I would volunteer, and I told her yes," Wesley said. "I used to work with kids at the Corner Drug Store and at Job Corps."
Wesley said he has been going to Eastside High School every Thursday for the past seven weeks to teach a 45-minute class on interpersonal skills.
"Sam has done a good job with the students," said Diane Smith, education manager of the local chapter of Junior Achievement. "He taught them how to influence someone and how to build rapport with people. He has taught them how to present themselves to employers and how to shake hands, maintain eye contact, basic interviewing skills, and how to write cover letters and resumes."
Junior Achievement uses hands-on experiences to help young people understand the economics of life. In partnership with businesses and educators, Junior Achievement brings the real world to students, opening their minds to their potential.
On last Thursday, 15 students in the class visited Wesley's office at 739 NW 5th Ave. to participate in mock interviews with a manager from McDonald's, Junior Achievement's Smith, local attorney Kevin McNeill, Jerald Gaines, the owner of IFIX Computers, and Wesley's secretary, Teretha Lattimore.
The students had a chance to put what they had learned to work.
""I learned that it is important to stay composed in interviews," said 16-year-old Mario Hayes, an Eastside 10th-grader with aspirations of working in corporate America. "It is important to know what to do and what not to do in an interview. Presentation is the whole key.
"He teaches us how to act and conduct ourselves during the interview. The things he has taught me will definitely help me when I go to look for a job."
Ashley Mills, 15, who also is in the 10th grade, said she learned some valuable lessons from Wesley.
"I've learned that I can achieve whatever I want to in life," Ashley said. "He taught us not to be nervous in interviews, but to just be ourselves, and to use the skills that I have to the best of my ability."
Before the students participated in the mock interviews, attorney McNeill talked to them about what it takes to be successful. He used to work for Wesley when he was younger, and Wesley invited him to be a part of the program to show the students that success is attainable.
McNeill, the first black lawyer to work in one of the area's oldest law firms, DellGraham, urged the students to study hard and to not let anything that has happened in their lives to keep them from realizing their dreams.
"Don't let your past determine your future," he said.
Wesley also announced that one of the six honor roll students in the class would be getting hired by him after an interview with his secretary.
"I like to reward success," he said. "I was an honor roll student, and I know it takes a lot of hard work."
Wesley is a 1977 graduate of Eastside. He earned a bachelor's degree in sociology and political science from Knoxville College in Tennessee. He has been married to his wife, Betty Hargot, for 13 years. He has two sons, Myron, 24, and Jalen, 11.
He said the Junior Achievement program is very much needed.
"This is very important and Junior Achievement is a great program," Wesley said. "They really target kids at the age where they are still impressionable. It's an honor to be here. It's been more fun than I thought it would be.
"I have a real nice class, and it is important to me to give back to the community because there were so many people who played a part in my life when I was their age. I went to Eastside, so whenever I can go back and give something to the kids, it is important for me to do so."
Wesley said it is important for the students to set goals and to map out a plan of how to achieve them.
"Don't let your friends tell you what to do," is what Wesley said he stresses to the students. He said even though the program with Junior Achievement is over, he plans to continue to work with the students.
"I probably will continue to work with the kids on my own to teach them the importance of investing their money wisely while they are young," he said.
Sylvia Walker, the career counselor at Eastside who accompanied the students to Wesley's office, said she was impressed with Wesley.
"I saw his last presentation, and I thought it was excellent," Walker said. "The kids are excited to be getting this opportunity. This is good exposure for them, and this will inspire and motivate them.
"I really like the fact that he recognized the honor roll students. That speaks volumes about what they are doing."

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

Comments are currently unavailable on this article

▲ Return to Top