We're pleased to announce that classes for our Refugee Youth Job Training Program are on schedule to start in January. We spent the fall adapting the program to a virtual world, and now we're ready to go.
We started the program last year with a cohort of seven young people (see photo above). It was geared toward refugee youth ages 16-24 and combined a weekly job readiness class with practical work experience in our kitchen and farmer's markets. Even after classes went virtual last March, all the youth successfully completed the program, found summer employment or internships, and are now either back in school or working at permanent jobs. With such a successful program under our belt, we were determined not to let the pandemic stop us from running it again this year.
With the help of several grants and donations from kind supporters, we hired Britta to be our teacher and engaged Maliss (last year's teacher) as a consultant. We've selected eight amazing young people for this year's cohort. And we've had an awesome response to a call for local mentors last week and are planning an orientation for them in January. Classes for the youth start January 5.
The pandemic created organizational challenges that none of us could have anticipated when we piloted the program back in 2019. How do you recruit young people when you can't meet them in person? How do you adapt a curriculum for online learning? How do you make sure everyone has the technology they need to successfully participate from home? We needed extra time to address these questions, but we're finally ready to go and looking forward to a great time. We'll keep you posted on how things progress.
If you'd like to contribute to the youth program, we would be very grateful. You can do so here: