Nonprofit Creates Summer Job Learning Opportunities for Pasadena Youth
Pasadena nonprofit Ideal Youth is creating a new generation of highly employable young adults through its work development program that gives hundreds students hands on experience with local companies before they graduate high school.
The unique program is designed help steer students towards meaningful careers and gain advanced skills that help them stand out as the enter the workforce in today’s competitive job market.
Summer is the busiest time of year for the career minded students who are actively interning up to one hundred hours each while school is out as a way to take charge of their life and invest in their future.
“Ideal Youth brings a great service to the City of Pasadena by training students into so many different aspects of career paths and also giving them opportunities to work with an organization that they would probably otherwise not have,” said District 1 Councilmember Tyron Hampton.
Ideal Youth recruits Pasadena Unified School District high school juniors and providing work development training with the help of the Chamber of Commerce which places the students to its member businesses–a membership of approximately 1500 businesses in a variety of industries.
“The thing that Ideal Youth does better than many nonprofits is they have a great relationship with a lot of corporations and a lot of different organizations that open up year round job shadowing opportunities,” said Hampton.
The businesses sectors that offer internship opportunities in Pasadena through the program include engineering, arts and entertainment, business, hotel and hospitality, medical and more.
Local giants such as Caltech, the Rose Bowl and Parsons are among some of the top names that open up their doors for work based opportunities.
“We are all aware of how difficult it is for young people to get hired in today’s economy. A lot of them want a job and employers are asking them if they have any experience,” said Ideal Youth Co-founder and Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Ishmael Trone.
“So now they are asking, ‘if I don’t have any experience, how do I get a job?,” said Trone.
“This is a way to jumpstart their portfolio. This is a way to give them the experience and help building their resume in order for them to have the opportunity to get hired, especially locally,” Trone added.
Students that are accepted into the competitive program are able to land both paid and unpaid internships.
According to Hampton, approximately $100,000 is funneled into the program to help compensate the students for their hard work.
“When Ideal Youth is fundraising money for students, those dollars go directly to the students,” said Hampton.
“Some kids I’ve spoken to say they enjoy the program because they are able to help out their parents. Some students enjoy the program because during summer months when they are selected for a job–it’s a major push for these students,” explained Hampton.
The program is in effect on a year round basis.
Summer months are among the busiest for out of school high school students and businesses and City departments to bring in over 300 students for work based opportunities.
Hampton says that Ideal Youth feeds their appetite to say busy and out of trouble.
“Some students may be doing other things and maybe not the most positive things over the summer months so Ideal Youth is actually very helpful with changing the trajectory of those students lives as well as keeping our community safe over the summer months,” explained Hampton.
The Pasadena Chamber of Commerce will soon launch its new Foundation to ensure long term funding to help the program grow and serve more students than it is currently able to help in kickstarting careers.
To learn more about Ideal Youth, visit http://www.idealyouth.org/.
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