For One Recent College Grad In D.C., Job Interviews Are Dead Ends

Aug 1, 2014
Originally published on August 13, 2014 10:15 am
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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. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.