The Beat: Mentoring

November 14, 2012

Photograph of a young woman in a science lab with an adult mentor. Title card reads Credentials for Youth: Success in the 21st Century Economy.Do you want to help youth find a career that matches their goals and interests instead of landing just any job? If you answered yes, you’re in luck. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Division of Youth Services recently added to its Youth Connects website a section called Credentials for Youth. The new Web pages help youth identify the skills they need to work in a number of growing industries.

We like this tool because of its step-by-step...

September 25, 2012

A young man and his adult supervisor.Over the summer, we followed Craig, a young man working as an intern at Sea Haven Youth Services in North Myrtle Beach, SC. As his experience wound down, we spoke to his supervisor, Melissa McGrath, about ways youth workers can reinforce the lessons learned during the internship in order to help youth prepare for the next step in their careers.

“Youth workers can be an asset by helping interns who’ve decided on a career path with their job search, updating a resume, and having mock interviews together,” McGrath says.

Here are some things you can do with youth to help them move to the next employment opportunity: 

Review “soft skills.” In their first few jobs, young people are learning how to be good workers. Before,...

June 04, 2012

Screen shot of Stop Bullying do GovIn recent months we've seen the tragic results of teen bullying, but we've also seen a more active focus on how to make schools and programs for young people safer. Here's a roundup of new resources that talk about how to prevent bullying:

April 23, 2012

Meet Craig, resident-turned-intern at Sea Haven for Youth, a runaway and homeless youth program in North Myrtle Beach, SC.

Craig’s a college student working on a degree in human services. In his spare time, he performs comedy. As Sea Haven’s transitional living program intern, he helps with the tasks needed to take in new clients, like filling out forms and telling youth about the program’s policies and procedures. Sometimes, he goes to local high schools to talk to teens about Sea Haven and how it can help them. He also does things like answering the phones and filing.

Finding—and keeping—a part-time or summer job can be stressful for young people, especially those who are learning to live independently after having been homeless. NCFY is following Craig’s experience over the next few months to give a snapshot of the ups and downs of summer employment for young people in runaway and homeless youth programs.


April 09, 2012

When 18-year-old Dan Wall started out as a messenger at the Seattle logistics company Expeditors in 1988, he had no intention of attending college. And he never imagined he would become the senior vice president of a Fortune 500 Company.

His bosses, CEO Peter Rose and President of Sales and Marketing Tim Barber, saw what he couldn’t see. They knew he had the right attitude to go far. He just needed training to help him gain the skills that would get him there. 

Twenty years later, Wall founded Opportunity Knocks, an Expeditors job training program based on the philosophy that, like him, young people need to be given the chance to succeed. Expeditors recruits high school students who aren’t considering secondary education. But candidates possess what Walls calls the “organic” skills they need to succeed: “a positive attitude, good customer service and work ethic.”


March 21, 2012

Each year thousands of young women run away from home. To survive, some girls steal. Some sell their bodies for money or a place to stay. Many use drugs and alcohol to cope with life on the streets. Eventually, many girls end up in the juvenile justice system.

NCFY spoke with Lawanda Ravoira, director of the National Girls Institute, about how to keep homeless young women out of trouble, out of jail and engaged with programs that provide support.

NCFY: Which girls are most at risk for becoming involved in the juvenile justice system?

Ravoira: Girls become involved in the system from all over, but one of the first predictors is school failure (uneven grades, suspensions and expulsions). The other big thing is trauma. We know that 92 percent of girls entering juvenile justice have been victims of physical, sexual or emotional abuse. Girls coming into the system have much...

March 12, 2012

The host home program for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth run by Family and Youth Services Bureau grantee Avenues for Homeless Youth was spotlighted in a recent PBS video, "Feels Like Home: Helping Homeless LGBT Youth."

The Minneapolis, MI, program has placed over 100 youth in temporary homes since it started in the late 1990s. Volunteer host families welcome youth into their homes for an average of 8 months after going through extensive training and background checks. The program has become the prototype for a handful of similar programs around the country.

The video features Program Coordinator Rocki Simões, a host and youth brought together by the program, and Commissioner Bryan Samuels of the Administration on Children, Youth, and Families, who speaks about ACYF's...

January 05, 2012

Young adults considering careers in health care can learn more from the Employment and Training Administration's new "Allied Health Occupations for Young Adults" podcast series. Each podcast features young adults working in various health fields, not including dentistry, nursing and medicine. These young emergency medical technicians, medical translators, certified nursing assistants and others discuss what they like most about their jobs and why they're excited about their futures in health care.

More youth employment resources:

November 21, 2011

It’s a common dilemma for young people looking for a first job: How to land a position when they’ve got no employment experience. Three runaway and homeless youth programs in Washington, DC, are solving the problem by hiring young people to work on their street outreach teams.

The peer outreach workers employed by Sasha Bruce YouthWork, Latin American Youth Center and Covenant House play a vital role in contacting hard-to-reach street youth. And by working side-by-side with adults, they gain valuable skills like how to interview for a position and how to manage their work schedules.

“It’s difficult to get any job experience right now, and this type of work is especially valuable for youth who want to go into social and human services,” says Dan Davis coordinator of Sasha Bruce’s street outreach initiative, Project Safe Neighborhoods.

Only in its second year, LAYC’s program has already paid off for several youth...

October 28, 2011

“The Reality Ride,” created by the Why Try Program, teaches that decisions have consequences in a way that relates to the specific circumstances of each individual’s life. It helps youth understand and change their decision-making process to “get on the right track.” The Reality Ride program includes music and physical activities to reinforce the lessons, encourage learning through participation, and help facilitators connect with youth. The program can be implemented one-on-one or in groups. See a sample lesson

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