Sat, Jun

TEC Leimert’s social media incubator program

Raine Barnes interned at Jordan’s Hotdogs on Crenshaw, where she helped co-owner Cary Jordan Sr. with the restaurant’s social media pages. Photos by Jason Lewis


The 12-week NXT LVL paid-intern program teaches young adults digital marketing, SEO, graphic design, creative editing, emerging tech, campaign management, media buying, audience research, and more.

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By Ariyana Griffin

TEC Leimert has a mission to help youth learn about the different components of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.  Recently, the South Los Angeles nonprofit organization has launched NXT LVL, a 12-week social media-based program for young adults.

NXT LVL is a free program that provides an opportunity for under-resourced young adults to leverage existing affinities for social media and culture to develop professional skills in the creative economy.

“At TEC Leimert we are looking at unique intersections that are both creative and digital,” said Rashidi Jones, TEC Leimert executive director.  “This is one of our competitive advantages as a community.  And what better example of that than social media?  The NXT LVL incubator provides young adults in our community with a paid internship that includes training, professional mentoring and tools needed to help them navigate digital marketing departments in confidence and we are thrilled to provide that career pathway.”

The program allows young adults ages 18 to 24 years old to land a paid internship with a local small business.  NXT LVL teaches the students everything about the basics of digital marketing including SEO, graphic design, creative editing, emerging tech, campaign management, media buying, audience research, and more.

Raine Barnes, a 21-year-old El Camino College student, is a part of the program.  She interned as a social media coordinator for the legendary Jordan’s Hot Dogs on Crenshaw, and now she is an intern at Swift Cafe in Leimert Park.


“I’m creating content and helping with social media engagement,” she said.  “So far I’ve increased their following.”

Barnes has been working on the local restaurants’ Facebook and Instagram pages to bring more awareness and social media presence to their businesses.

“Raine has been amazing with helping us to understand the analytics behind our social media platforms which has helped us to be smarter about when/how we engage with our customers,” said Cary Jordan Jr., co-owner of Jordan’s Hot Dogs.”

Besides social media, the TEC Leimert program has taught Barnes how to be a professional.

“I’ve learned business etiquette,” she said.  “I learned how to communicate with people and that I need to be punctual.  That’s very important in life and for a career.”

Barnes hopes to go into the culinary field and this internship was highly beneficial because she was able to learn a vital part of running a business.  Many chefs are producing more revenue through their social media pages than they are selling the food that they make.

“I decided to dabble into social media so that I can move forward into my process,” she said.  “I want to own my own business, so this is helping a lot with the social media aspect.”

For more information about TEC Leimert’s NXT LVL program, visit www.tecleimert.com. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram

Jordan's Hotdogs is located at 5960 Crenshaw Boulevard.  Contact them at (323) 299-3647.  Visit their website at www.jordanshotdogsla.com and follow them on Facebook and Instagram to find out about special promotions.