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Pictured: Dorene Brookins and
Kia Lockhart


Kia Lockhart is a Class of 2018 intern at Fairview Health Services, and Dorene Brookins is the Genesys Works School Champion at Johnson Aerospace & Engineering High School.

Kia Lockhart

What have you learned so far through your experience with Genesys Works?

For me, it’s the definition of internship that varies. Going through the Genesys Works summer training, it felt like you would just be doing [the same thing] throughout your entire internship, but for me, everything’s been different. It’s varied, so I’ve been able to see different aspects of the company and kinds of work. I really like having that ability and learning more professional skills as I go along.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

Being able to have my own workspace because it makes me feel like I’m more a part of the company. I have my own little cubicle space… I can email people and have them come to me when they need information. It just makes me feel more a part of the company.

What are your plans after high school?

I plan on going to a four-year university. My top three choices are Hamline, Macalester, and the University of Minnesota. Right now, I want to study neuroscience, and if not that, I might want to study neonatal care. It’s going to take a while – a lot of school – but I think it’ll be worth it to do what I want to do.

Has Genesys Works helped you establish the future that you’ve envisioned for yourself?

Yeah, a few months ago, I was talking to someone from my summer cohort. He was talking about how Genesys Works has done so much for him, and I agree. Even to this day, I think, “Wow, I have an internship at Fairview.” Having this internship on my resume goes a long way and opens up doors and opportunities. I’m really grateful to Genesys Works for allowing me that opportunity.

Dorene Brookins

Can you describe the partnership between Johnson and Genesys Works?

Genesys Works is seasonal in terms of recruitment and when their students begin their internship, however, I would say our partnership extends to be more year-round because we’re constantly working with one another to figure out the best ways to recruit students, engage students after the recruitment process, and retain them once their internship is established. It’s a partnership in which we’re learning from each other as to how it works well for Johnson students, Genesys Works, and your corporate partners.

Can you describe the Johnson students who participate in Genesys Works?

The students from Johnson that participate in Genesys Works are a very tenacious and ambitious group of young people. They are focused and all want to do something at school that allows them the opportunity to learn and make a bit of money while doing so, so Genesys Works was a good fit for them. It’s the student who can handle a lot… and desire to experience as much as they can before they enter the real world on their own.

Why do you believe students like Kia excel in the program?

I think they excel because Gensys works seems to provide students with an opportunity. It’s one of those, “Much is given yet much is required,” situations where they receive a lot of training and mentorship, both from Genesys Works and at their internship. They’re given a lot, such as the compensation. At the same time, students are accepted for who they are and what they bring into the program, but then they grow from that point. That’s why it’s a great fit for our students.

What kind of change do you see in students who have gone through the program?

I think they grow up – not that they were immature before – but there’s a level of maturity that comes with taking on and participating in this opportunity, certainly because they’re dressed as young professionals and begin to present themselves as such. It’s in the way they dress, their attitudes, work ethic and principles, time management and organization, and communication with their counselors, instructors, or teachers to make sure they’re not missing anything when they’re away. So yeah, I see a maturity shift take place.

Do you have any memorable moments with Genesys Works?

It’s rewarding to see the growth that the organization has from year to year. It was 2011-12 when I came into contact with Genesys Works. The progression of the organization has been phenomenal over the years, not just in the development of the young professional but even the staff. I think it’s always rewarding when we have partnerships with places like Genesys Works in which we’re able to express something that we would like to see for our students or some adjustments we’d like to see made and then to come back the next year and see those changes implemented or a part of a dialogue at various stages has been really rewarding. It’s something that puts a smile on my face – to see the progression that the organization has had over the years.