TE Brandon Myers poses for a photo with the Bridges students at Old Navy. Photo by Tony Gonzales
Recently, Oakland Raiders TE Brandon Myers spoke to students from the Bridges From School To Work program at Old Navy in San Leandro, Calif., during National Volunteer Week. Myers shared advice with the students, ages 16-20, on how to be successful during the job interview process.
The Bridges program, the non-profit foundation of the Marriott hotels, helps kids with disabilities transition from school and enter the competitive workforce. Rhanee Palma, senior employer representative for the Marriott Foundation, Bridges From School To Work Program, was excited to have Myers visit with the kids and offer advice to her students. "It was very important just because a lot of our students don't see past their block so to open their doors like that and to have someone, a national figure, international even, it was really amazing for them," said Palma.
Myers was happy to answer all of the students' questions about the interview process, his experience with the Raiders and more. "I thought it was a good opportunity to share a little bit about where I came from and a little bit about my experiences with you guys," said Myers. "You may not understand everything, but you hear one thing that I say, you might be able to take that and take it down the road and get a job."
Old Navy was thrilled to have a Raider take the time to speak to the students. "I think Old Navy and Raider Nation have very similar core values – all about family and all about making sure you're a great citizen in your community – [and that's] what we wanted to make sure came across," said Kristen Erceg, Manager of Innovation and Fun for Old Navy (West Territory). "I think having Brandon here absolutely accomplished that."
"After [Myers] was done speaking, I said, 'so Brandon said if he could give you one thing today, it was worth his time,'" continued Erceg. "And I asked, 'what was the one thing you took away.' And everyone rose their hand and said something from work hard to make sure you're a team player to have confidence to its okay to make a mistake. I think those lessons that they had today will stick with them for a really long time."
Myers biggest goal was to impart at least one piece of wisdom on each student by the end of the program. "If you guys can take one thing from what I said, I take it as a successful day," said Myers. "If I go anywhere and someone learns one thing, then it makes me happy."
Each Bridges participant listened carefully to Myers' advice. "I think they understand working hard, whether it's at home or at school or trying to attain your goal of getting a job," said Myers. "It takes a good work ethic to get to where you want to be."
The students took away more than one piece of advice from Myers. "They listed all the things they took away – confidence, to be yourself, to work hard, to persevere even if someone tells you no, you have to believe in what you want and to shoot for it – they took away a lot of things from the experience," said Palma.