In an effort to provide graduates of our residential program with the best chance at success, Josiah White’s recently established the Student Success Store as a result of a grant from the Don Wood Foundation. This is the second grant the Foundation has provided to the organization to support their efforts in getting underserved youths an opportunity for gainful employment, primarily in the manufacturing sector.
Several months ago, members of the Don Wood Foundation met with Josiah White’s residential staff and asked the team what would be helpful to Josiah White’s students as they transition back into their home communities to work. Josiah White’s presented the idea for a fund that could be used to buy graduating students the clothing or equipment they might need to acquire and accept a job in their chosen field.
Towards the end of their time at Josiah White’s, students in the residential program complete an aftercare plan with their case manager. The student and case manager then determine what equipment the student might need to get a job, and the case manager takes the student out shopping to get what they need.
The grant has already reaped rewards for Josiah White’s clients. Within one week of being awarded the Don Wood Foundation grant, a student took advantage of the funds, leading to his success. This student had turned eighteen during his two years at Josiah White’s and had received extensive workforce readiness skills in Josiah White’s vocational and workforce development program, Growing Teens for Life. However, he did not have the financial support to purchase the proper clothes and shoes for a job interview. Utilizing these new funds, a Josiah White’s staff member was able to buy this young man several pairs of dress khakis, shirts, and shoes for the first job interviews of his young life. Ultimately, the student was offered two of the three jobs he interviewed for due, at least partly, to the fact that he could present himself professionally by wearing suitable clothing.
Josiah White’s is incredibly grateful to the Don Wood Foundation for their thoughtfulness and trust in the success of the Growing Teens for Life program.
Those interested in learning more about Growing Teens for Life or donating to the Student Success store can visit Josiah White’s website at https://josiahwhites.org/growing-teens-for-life/.