Youth ADAPT NC

Claire Schuch

​Claire Schuch, Ph.D, facilitated this project as part of her dissertation research the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is originally from the Netherlands and also lived in the UK, Singapore, and Chile before moving to the US South. She is passionate about social justice and promoting equal opportunities for all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, documentation status, and income level. She loves working with youth because of their positive energy and ideas, and is very proud of Youth ADAPT NC for all their contributions to this project and their communities.

About the Project 


     This website is a product of a dissertation study that examines the process into the labor market for Hispanic/Latino immigrant youth. Through questionnaires, interviews, observations, and participatory action modes of research, the study takes a close look at the lived experience of Latino youth as they transition from school to work, specifically in the context of the “New South” city Charlotte, NC.
     Currently,
1 in 5 children in the United States were born outside the US or are children of immigrants. The prospects for a growing number of Hispanic and immigrant children and youth will be considerably shaped by their employment opportunities. Improving opportunities for immigrant youth benefits not only them but will allow them to contribute fully to US society and their communities.
     Results from this study can inform ongoing debates about immigration policy, and suggest programs and other initiatives that can improve immigrant youth positionality in the labor force. As such, the outcomes of this study can be useful for policy makers, local government, businesses, and community organizations, as well as other researchers.
     By involving youth as co-researchers, they help design strategies to improve job access for themselves and their peers, and gain relevant skills in the process. The young adults who put this website together are emerging community leaders. In addition to deciding on and creating this website, they organized and promoted a panel discussion for youth in the community to learn from professional about how to prepare themselves for the work force.

This study is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the International Society of Women Geographers (SWG), and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Chancellor’s Diversity Grant.
Opinions expressed here reflect those of the participants and researcher and not necessarily of the funders.

About the Contributors


Tania Vazquez Soto

​     My name is Tania Isabel Vazquez Soto, I am a currently a senior at the university of North Carolina at Charlotte. I began working at 16 at American eagle, since then I’ve worked multiple jobs ultimately I wish to become a physician in the near future. These experiences encouraged me to become involved with A.D.A.P.T.  The need for Latino youth to be able to have access to tools, which could make their opportunities of finding stable jobs. I hope anyone who may read this website will feel that they found a support system, to help them reach their ultimate career goals whatever they maybe.


Diego Mendiola 

​     Hi my name is Diego, I am a student at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. I work in my own small lawn care business. In the future I hope to be a management consultant at a top consulting firm. I chose to participate in this project because I believe it is important to help other students succeed with and without the same opportunities. I hope that this project will answer a lot of the questions that we may have during the job search process and can serve as a guide to begin a successful career.

Pedro Perez 

​     My name is Pedro Perez. Born in Mexico a raised in Charlotte. I am an artist with not much accomplishments but with many goals and much aspersions. Coming from an immigrant family is always hard no matter where you come from. In my  case this was not much different. I have struggled but I have made it out of school now I'm seeking to become an independent artist that promotes the rights of those that don't have a voice. Hopefully my art will live longer than I do and my message to impact the lives of many. I want to give the community of immigrant youth a tool that will help their future. My drive is equality and freedom of speech, I believe in a better future for all Latinos.


Jorge Acosta

​     Hey my name is Jorge Luis Acosta and I am a graduate of Garinger high school. In the future I'd like to pursue my career in dance or modeling. I chose to participate in this project to help young teens like me to make it easier to obtain a bright future. I hope this website has helped at least one of you to become a better you in the future.


Mariana Perez 

     My name is Mariana. I am seventeen years of age and currently a junior in high school. I attend Cato Middle College High school. I am also currently employed, but on my journey to employment I came across a few struggles due to my inexperience in the job world. I participated in this project to help the youth of Charlotte go through the job world with helpful advice that will aid them in obtaining employment. Through this process I have also learned the necessity of a resource that is for immigrant youth and to help them navigate the job world whether they are inexperienced to it, or have previous experience. I hope that this website is found useful to those who have chosen to visit it.


Alondra Medina

     Hi :) My name is Alondra Medina; I am currently a junior at East Meck and am seventeen years old. I currently do not have a job, but like to volunteer in several things. In the future I hope to pursue a career relating to the foreign policy of countries and traveling. I chose to participate in this project because I believe that everyone should have the same opportunities and resources as the next person. I hope that you use this website to better your understanding of the job market and to gain confidence in yourself to become the person you envision yourself being.


Karla Mendiola

     My name is karla mendiola and I am currently a student at independence high school. I choose to participate in this project because I believe everyone should have a chance to know their opportunities and I hope that you take advantage of those by using our website :)


Cesar Mendiola

     Hello reader, my name is Cesar A. Mendiola. I am a junior in high school, with 16 years of age. I love being a teen. It’s all about learning and improving yourself, but also I try to not forget about having fun. I play the tuba and trumpet at an advanced level. I love the acoustical aesthetics and beauty of compiling sounds to create harmony and melody. I also have been dedicating my time to tennis since my freshman year. I like tennis; there is a lot of thinking behind it, plus pin-point accurate skills. I am also an engineering enthusiast. I love engineering. Some day in the future I want to be an engineer working on green technology projects. Thank you for reading and good luck!


Melissa Jaime

     Hi, my name is Melissa Jaime; I am a junior at Garinger high school. In the future I would like to work as a vet. I chose to participate in this project because I want to make a change in the community. I hope our information is valuable and helpful to you.


​Seleydi Jimenez 

     Hi, my name is Seleydi Jimenez. I am a junior at Myers High School. I currently have no job but plan on having one very soon. In the future I would like to work as a doctor, nurse or dentist, something that has to do with medicine or in the medical business. I chose to participate in this project because I wanted to try something new and learn more about this project. I hope our website can help and also hope you enjoy what we’ve put together.


Brandon Perez 

     My name is Brandon Perez. I attend East Meck High School and I’m from the small town of Albemarle, NC. The goal here is to ensure that Youth ADAPT NC provides accurate and helpful tips and guides using others’ and my own personal experiences with applying, seeking and obtaining a job.This provides youth with a resource that I never had and would’ve been an amazing resource in my own personal job hunt. Currently, I am working at Sam’s Express car wash and I’m still in school. My career goal is to become an engineer in either the electrical or mechanical field.

Brisa Juarez
Hi, my name is Brisa Juarez and I’m a senior at Garinger High School (Go Wildcats!). I’m currently working at Bella Princessa & have an internship working as a receptionist at CMC-University Hospital. In the future I would like to work as a Physical Therapist, because I want to help out people into feeling better after they had a traumatic experience. I chose to participate in this project because I wanted to spread the word out to inform youth about not to just stay put but to go out and search for new opportunities. There is a lot going out in the world and new doors are opening every day, all you have to do is be willing to work hard and to achieve your dreams. Nothing is impossible unless you put no work or effort into whatever you do; sometimes you have to think: I’m Possible.


WHo we are


Thank you for visiting our website! We are Youth ADAPT NC (ADAPT stand for: Always Developing by Acting, Preparing, and Transforming), a group of highly motivated 16 to 21-year-old Latino youth in Charlotte, North Carolina. We originally came together to participate in a research project about Latino youth job access, led by Claire Schuch from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Through our interviews and discussions about what challenges Latino youth face and what assets they bring to the labor market, we were asked to develop a project that diminishes these challenges and highlight our strengths. We decided to develop this website for other youth with job-related information (for instance, how to find jobs, write a resume, and prepare for interviews), because many Latino and immigrant youth lack this information. We surveyed other youth to find out what they wished to see on our website. Based on the results, we researched the information online and by talking to professionals in our community. We hope this site can help you secure your first job and your dream job!

For more information about who we are, scroll down to the 'About the Contributors' section.
Please share this page with your friends and contact us if you have feedback or questions!

Youth ADAPT NC
April, 2015