TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — The non-profit Building STEPS hosted its Network Experience event on Tuesday at Towson University’s West Village Commons for Baltimore City Schools seniors.

“All of these students really are coming from challenging schools, challenging neighborhoods and they don’t have this experience to really talk to professionals,” Sheyna Mikeal, of Building STEPS, said.

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The program focuses on giving students feedback on their communication and networking skills, as well as mock interviews with working professionals.

“They’re our future. The kids here are our future and we’re trying to help guide them, providing them some good decisions on what next steps they’re going to make,” Eric Perlstein, of Edwards Performance Solutions, said.

Many of the students have been working with the program since their junior year. It helps them throughout high school, college and even afterward as they start their classes.

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“Having this actually helped me build my confidence,” Tori Caple-Dodson, of the Department of Defense, said. “It allowed me to pretty much pick a career and a trajectory.”

Many students said they thought it was very helpful and were surprised by what they learned.

“There were a lot of instances where I was like, ‘Wow, I never realized I needed this.’ They give you things that schools normally don’t,” Patrick Ford, of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, said.

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This was the final workshop for these high school students; and their next step, heading off to college.

Stetson Miller