September 22, 2014

High school senior Arelly Ocampo from Costa Mesa, Calif., had the opportunity to immerse herself in the DPR culture this summer while working as a Girls Inc. extern in the Newport Beach office. It was an experience that she describes as both positive and “a real eye opener.”

Girls Inc. extern Arelly Ocampo works with a DPR estimator to learn how to read drawings.

“As a senior going off to college next year, I was able to get an idea of what to look for in a college, especially as a civil engineering major,” Ocampo said. “I enjoyed the collaboration all the externs had with each other and the DPR employees and valued how open everyone was to answer any questions I had. I realized that people at DPR have passion and pride in what they do, which is why they love talking about their jobs.”

Ocampo worked directly with DPR’s Melissa King, who said hosting a summer extern from Girls Inc. for the second year turned out to be a win-win for all involved.

“I was so impressed with what she could do, how quickly she could do it and how much initiative she took,” King commented. Ocampo worked with King to develop training materials and plan group meetings. She also attended in-house training classes and project engineer meetings and made numerous jobsite visits.

Ocampo attended a regional project engineer meeting, where she learned how to frame door openings.

On Aug. 11, the last day of Ocampo’s externship, DPR hosted a two-hour resume workshop that brought together all 50 of the Girls Inc. externs at their Youth & Family Center. The goal: to help the girls put their summer externship experiences onto their resumes.

Approximately 10 DPR volunteers participated in the workshop, leading small group sessions. Externs and leaders shared personal stories and gave feedback. Ocampo helped create a facilitator guide for DPR volunteers involved in the resume workshop and developed training slides for the session.

Neiasha Russell, Community Development Coordinator with Girls Inc. of Orange County, commended DPR’s work on the resume workshop, its externship participation and its longtime commitment to the organization.

“The overall response to the resume workshop was the information presented was valuable. The girls really enjoyed the breakout session with the volunteers. This gave them a chance to hear personal stories and ask questions,” she said.

“DPR has had a huge impact on the Girls Inc.’s Externship Program,” Russell added. “I couldn’t ask for a more supportive, vibrant and involved externship site!”

Ocampo attended the annual Girls Inc. Youth Empowerment and Self Sufficiency luncheon (Y.E.S.S) with her DPR hosts.