Boys & Girls Village's innovative vocational programs include both coaching and real-world services including:
- Vocational and transitional school based coaching
- Three youth-run businesses: Meatball Heaven, Do Me a Favor, and Design IQ & Print
Work to Learn
The Work to Learn program is designed to provide educational and vocational services to assist youth to successfully transition into adulthood. The program provides training and services in the following areas:
- Financial literacy
- Life skills
- Personal and community connections
- Physical and mental health
Work to Learn provides youth ages 16-21 with the skills and coaching necessary to succeed financially in life. The program can support 72 individuals and helps them acquire life skills, job skills, and to manage their own savings with the goal of purchasing assets.
Clients have opportunities to work and volunteer in BGV youth businesses and internships within the community. As clients progress through the program, we also help them prepare for the competitive workforce.
Program requirements and eligibility
The Work to Learn program is for youth ages 16-21 who are either currently in the foster care system, or who have been involved with the system in the past. Individuals are recommended for the program by a Department of Children and Families (DCF) social case worker.
Our Work to Learn Program helps at-risk youth achieve economic self-sufficiency. Participants receive extensive coaching to develop new skill sets in a real world environment, allowing them the opportunity to find employment, purchase assets, and improve self-confidence. These programs offer our participants, who have had so many opportunities taken away from them, the chance to build a successful future.
Each client is assigned to a Job Coach who will create a strength based individualized service plan. When appropriate, Job Coaches assist clients with planning for enrollment into college and vocational schools, placement into these schools, and retention once enrolled. Each client will complete a life skills assessment of receive instruction/teaching in areas in which they exhibit deficiencies.
Financial literacy training is also offered to ensure that each employed client opens a bank account and an Individual Development Account (IDA) as well as having a plan for ongoing, regular savings.
BGV staff provide opportunities for clients to engage in civic advocacy, recreational activities, involvement in community events, public and private organizations, faith based organizations and businesses to help them establish long term personal connections and skills. In addition, clients provide support within communities by completing multiple volunteer activities throughout the year.
Clients in the program operate a Youth Advisory Board which provides additional opportunities to develop leadership, social and public speaking skills, and advocate for policy change. They assist DCF in planning events for youth in foster care as well as recruitment efforts for foster parents.
For more information, call our Bridgeport office, (203) 330-6790 and ask to speak with the Work to Learn program manager.