Johnson County Connect

Juniors collaborate to help JoCo youth connect with companies


All high school students can benefit from work experience before heading to college, whether that be volunteering, working a part time job or doing a summer internship. But many students never pursue these things simply because they don’t know where to start. 

Juniors Josselyn Bui and Alex Diaz recognized this issue and decided to take action by introducing Johnson County Connect.

The idea came when Diaz was searching for volunteering opportunities but wasn’t having any luck finding them. 

“Basically the only way I was able to do community outreach was through friends and my friends’ parents,” he said. “So I thought why don’t we make our community a lot better by giving kids access to that stuff?”

Diaz presented this problem to Bui, who agreed and pointed out another relevant issue. Many companies in the Johnson County area have expressed a lack of young and qualified interns, and are searching for students to hire. 

“We found there were a lot of youth that really wanted to connect with their community through internships, passion projects or student leadership,” Bui said. “We also saw there were a lot of companies that wanted to connect with students, bring in qualified interns and get more student involvement.”

The two realized they could create a website to serve as a connection between the two parties and solve both problems.

“We decided to be the middleman and set up a program that could connect the companies to the kids,” Bui said.

The team is currently meeting with companies and planning on how to turn the website from an idea into a reality. So far, they have met with Archer, a risk management corporation.

“Soon we’ll recieve our first grant from Archer to actually develop this site,” Diaz said. “We need to reach out to other businesses that could be interested in providing their opportunities.”

Once the money is obtained, the two will begin developing the website and putting their plan into motion. Bui predicts the website should be up and running by summer. 

“By then we should have listings of possible opportunities and resources available,” Bui said. “It won’t be until later that we’ll be able to provide specialized connection. We’re thinking by fall or around the first semester [of next school year] we would be connected to different companies that would provide specialized internship programs that would suit Johnson County students.”