Preparing former foster youth for entering the workforce
One of the biggest challenges faced by foster youth and alumni of foster care is a lack of preparation for entering the workforce. As a result, young adults raised in foster care experience far higher rates of poverty and unemployment than those raised in more traditional family settings.
Part of NFYI’s mission to improve outcomes for current and former foster youth involves providing them with access to a brighter future through experiential education, job skills training, and internship opportunities. Working closely with a number of partner organizations and businesses in the Los Angeles area and beyond, NFYI matches foster youth with mentors and provides job readiness training, job shadowing opportunities, and internships in industries within their individual areas of career interest. Additionally, NFYI is working with policymakers to build an education-to-career pipeline for current and former foster youth.
One of our most successful programs to date was our job shadowing and internship program. With a generous grant from the Hilton Foundation, NFYI initiated a job shadow program in the Los Angeles area for former foster youth ages 18-26. The program consisted of 3 consecutive days of job readiness and life skills training followed by another three days of job shadowing. After completing job readiness training, youth were sent to many different types of businesses where they were paired with professionals who would act as mentors while providing them with hands-on learning opportunities in their respective places of work. For the 3 days of training and 3 days of shadowing, the youth received a stipend of $200.
Our internship program developed out of the job shadow program and provides opportunities for youth to continue gaining valuable career and job skills training while receiving an hourly wage of $10. With a total of $1200 allocated per youth, youth could do up to 120 hours of an internship at various workplaces around Los Angeles. So far, we’ve had well over 100 youth go through the job shadow program and about 30 youth continue on to become paid interns. In addition to providing foster youth with valuable life skills and job training, these programs enabled NFYI to develop relationships with a number of organizations in the Los Angeles area including The Alliance for Children’s Rights, United Friends of the Children, The RightWay Foundation, First Place for Youth, and Guardian Scholars. While funds for these programs have been exhausted, NFYI is currently negotiating with partner organizations for funding to continue providing job training and internship programs for current and former foster youth.
Help NFYI prepare foster youth and alumni of foster care
for better career opportunities.