For One Recent College Grad In D.C., Job Interviews Are Dead Ends
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
All summer long we're focusing on out-of-work youth and how they're getting by. In some places, the unemployment rate for 16 to 24-year-olds is more than 12 percent. Sarah Johnson is 21-years-old. She just graduated from Howard University in May. And she's had numerous job interviews that haven't gone anywhere.
SARAH JOHNSON: I'm waiting to hear back from a few places - hopefully, from people who have a job for me, a place for me. And what I've been doing in the meantime is dog sitting. It's about $100 a week. Sometimes, it's like, why am I picking up poop. I have a bachelor's degree. I'm also freelancing for places I've interned for but don't have full-time positions for me right now. I'm making it, but I'm not really - I'm not thriving in any way, which is frustrating because I worked really, really hard in college. I did everything that people say will get you a job. Sometimes, I feel like there's something that I must be missing, you know, like, I'm black. I'm a woman. I don't come from a prestigious background. I don't have a name that people recognize. Also, I have dreadlocks, and my boyfriend's convinced that people are like - you know, they see you, and, you know, like, you stand out. You don't fit into, like, corporate America.
MONTAGNE: That's recent college grad Sarah Johnson from Washington, D.C. We'll hear more from youths on the hustle in the coming weeks.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.