2014-15 in numbers
  • 15 youth completed the Program
  • 3 participated as Youth Mentors
  • 5 currently employment
  • 5 participating other CFY programs
  • 3 completed GED or high school equivalency

Employment and training are essential to breaking the cycle of poverty, but with barriers like low education levels, mental health and addictions issues, and criminal justice involvement, obtaining and maintaining stable, long-term employment can be nearly impossible for at-risk youth in our communities.

The Jumpstart Pre-Employment Program focuses on building the capacity, skills, and work portfolios that help youth surpass these barriers. The 13-week program operates three times a year, focusing on workplace responsibility, team work, financial management, and personal development.

The program is facilitated by staff with the support of youth mentors who have completed the program. Work experience is provided through a number of incredible community partners, as well as from within Choices for Youth -- like in our Outreach and Youth Engagement kitchen, where the chef trains participants in meal preparation. Other opportunities include household repairs, carpentry, gardening, and more recently, a variety of art programs. In cases where it is possible for individuals to move quickly through training and into external work experience, we provide opportunities to work in the community based on individuals' strengths, furthering their capacity to independently enter the workforce. 

Jumpstart is an incredible opportunity for youth who face waning prospects of joining the workforce and/or returning to school. The program is a comfortable environment where participants quickly build a strong community, helping them gain the skills and materials that enable them to transition to other longer-term employment, and education programs or opportunities.