Morgan’s Story: My Work Experience with Skills

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My Work Experience with Skills! 

The following blog post was written by Morgan, a recent high school graduate supported by our Employment Services program who completed a Paid Work Experience with Skills! Skills’ Paid Work Experiences give transition-aged youth an opportunity to get 90 hours of hands-on experience in a career field that interests them, while earning a paycheck and receiving support from a Skills job coach.

Morgan, who is interested in a career in photography, worked with Skills’ Marketing department to build her portfolio, gain experience in a professional workplace, and use new programs and software. She was also a huge benefit to Skills, and we’ve used her amazing photos on our website, newsletters, and social media pages.

Morgan, left, poses with Skills Employment Training Specialist Jess on her first work day at our Discovery Garden plant sale.

Hi, my name is Morgan Porta, I’m 18 years old, and I recently graduated from Altoona Area High School. I also graduated from the Greater Altoona Career and Technology Center. I went to the GACTC for Photography and Videography. I joined Skills to get job experience in photography. Although it took some time for them to find a photography position for me, we made it work in the end. I did half of my 90 hours at the Altoona Curve taking photos of the fans, players and many more fun things they did each night, and then the other half of my photography work experience was done was with Skills, taking photos of the Discovery Garden as well as young people and adults who work with Skills. Some days I was out taking photos with Skills and the Curve, then other days I was in the Skills building or up in the box office for the Altoona Curve editing the photos I took or sometimes other people’s photos.

I took these pictures my first time at the Discovery Garden, second to last day at the Discovery Garden, and my last day at the Discovery Garden. I got to capture family fun, the beautiful flowers they planted, and the kaleidoscope they just put in for the community to enjoy looking through to see their flowers they planted in a unique way. You can see more of my photos on the Discovery Garden website.

I got an amazing opportunity to work with the Altoona Curve baseball team and take photos of the players, fans, and even their mascots Loco and Al. The first two photos are from the night where a few Curve players shaved their heads for cancer awareness night. The third picture is of their mascot Loco hanging out with his fans in the crowd. More of my photos are found on their Facebook page.

As my 90 hours come to an end, I had to sit down and think about what I wanted to do after. I’ve decided to further my career in photography by going to college for Business Management. I need to take the rest of my summer to sit down and look for a part-time job, so I can work while in college to save up money for when I graduate to open up my own photography business. I would like to travel the world and take photos of anything and everything one day.

I would like to go back to college after I graduate with my Associate’s degree to get my Bachelor’s degree. I also want to invest in getting better camera equipment throughout the years so opening up my own business is easy.

Skills has taught me to come forward and speak to people even if you aren’t comfortable with it because that is part of photography. I’ve had an amazing time working with Skills and getting to better my photography skills each day I worked there.

This photo is of me enjoying my last day on the job. Thank you for the amazing opportunities Skills.


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