Youth Employment Academy

Supporting YEA is a concrete way to make a real impact on a young person's life. YEA is committed to breaking the cycle of generational poverty in Denver communities by providing programming in education, arts, technology, employment training & mentorship--enabling personal and economic stability.

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Overview of Youth Employment Academy

Class

Youth Development 

Beneficiaries

Female Youth/Adolescents (14 - 19 years)
Male Youth/Adolescents (14 - 19 years)
Young Adults (20-25 years)
Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)

Description

YEA's mission is to serve young adults in breaking the cycle of generational poverty in Denver communities by gaining personal and economic stability through education and employment training.

HISTORY

In 2007, the Youth Employment Academy (YEA) was established at Denver Housing Authority to provide specific opportunities in education and employment for low-income youth and young adults ages 14-21 in the Denver metro area. Partnering with the City and County of Denver Office of Economic Development Youth Services, among other agencies, YEA provided services to underserved youth that guided them to graduate from high school, earn their GED, earn industry specific certificates, attend post-secondary education, receive hands-on job training and become employed.

Beginning in 2009, YEA observed that many of the youth we served were lacking in skills and job training needed in specific demand driven industries. We noted that many youth, if they did graduate from high school, were funneled to college, ill-prepared and then dropped out and/or had little knowledge about career paths that were open to them - wasting their financial aid funding. In addition, with the recession, youth were not being hired for entry level jobs that were previously open to them. Young adults that had dropped out or were facing other barriers such as being an English language learner, a young parent or having a criminal record were provided even fewer opportunities for their future. YEA addressed these issues by working with area employers in the culinary/hospitality and healthcare fields and developing industry-specific academies (the Pre-Professional Occupations in Healthcare Academy and Culinary Academy) to provide intensive career exploration and hands-on training in order that youth might become employed or move into the next level of post-secondary education needed for their career. YEA then added a Customer Service Academy in 2012 and an Advanced Manufacturing/Engineering Academy in 2013. In addition, YEA continued to provide intensive mentoring through case management, tutoring, paid work internships and job coaching to address all issues the youth were facing.

In 2012, YEA moved forward and became its own 501 (c) (3). This change allowed YEA to not rely solely on the Denver Housing Authority and government funding and look towards other ways to generate income. Working with our industry partners, YEA saw a need for hands-on training in the culinary industry outside of the classroom. In addition, DHA was in the process in building a vibrant community in the La Alma neighborhood and YEA saw the need there for a healthy, affordable restaurant to bring the community together. In February 2013, the Osage Café opened on the ground floor of the new resident mid-rise for seniors and individuals with disabilities living in public housing. This restaurant with a training kitchen allows for community involvement while training youth in the industry of culinary arts and running a business. We have had a great response from employers who have hired youth who completed the culinary program and who have commented on the excellent training of their new employees.

In 2016 YEA added Arts Street to its programming. Arts Street @ YEA is a job-training program that cultivates low-income and under-served youth into valuable members of the creative workforce needed in the immediate future. It uses the power of arts and technology to engage youth in learning and career development and to nurture leadership, build integrity, and help the community at-large.

Nationally, YEA has been recognized as well, earning many awards including a National Award of Merit for program innovation in 2008 from the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) and National Awards of Merit for our Culinary Academy and the Pre-Professional Occupations in Healthcare Academy. In 2010 YEA received the Public Housing Youth Program of the Year Award from the National Alliance of Resident Services in Affordable and Assisted Housing (NARSAAH). In 2014, YEA was again recognized nationally by NAHRO with National Awards of Merit for our Advanced Manufacturing Academy and the innovative Osage Café.

In 11 years, YEA has assisted over 3,200 young people in reaching their education and employment goals. With the continued support of DHA and supporters such as you, YEA is in a strong position to continue to grow and assist in building economic self-sufficiency in local neighborhoods so that all might see a prosperous future.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

In 2017 YEA served 216 unduplicated youth ages 13 to 23 through their industry academies and education/employment programs.

• 87% YEA industry academies completion rate
• 92% of the youth showed a gain in industry skills and knowledge and/or earned industry national certification.
• 34 youth participated in industry internships in culinary and creative industries with a 94% completion rate.
- 100% stayed in school or graduated and of those that graduated 80% became employed
or entered post-secondary education.
• Not only do students show gains in Colorado state standards and/or earn a national recognized industry certificate, they also gain real-life skills in working for clients in creative industries and in a working restaurant.
• Creative Industry academies included photography and digital media, painting and mixed media, video and graphic design, murals and public art and entrepreneurship, among others.

Positive Youth Development
• 92% safe and trusting environment (national avg. 80%)
• 95% supportive and caring environment (national avg. 80%)
• 85% youth as resources (national avg. 67%)
• 81% attractive and meaningful activities (national avg. 73%)

Youth Employment Academy National Awards:
-National Association of Housing & Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) National Award of Merit, Osage Café (YEA
Social Enterprise) 2014
-National Association of Housing & Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) National Award of Merit, YEA Advanced
Manufacturing/Engineering Program 2014
-NARSAAH Public Housing Youth Program of the Year Award 2010
-National Association of Housing & Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) National Award of Merit, Youth Employment
Academy 2008

Arts Street @ YEA:
Local Awards
Best Youth Arts Program in Denver 2017, Westword
Art Tank, 1st Place Award, Arts Affinity Group 2017
Art Tank, Audience Choice Award, Arts Affinity Group 2017
Innovate for Good Award, Rose Community Foundation 2015
National Awards:
Our Town Award, National Endowment for the Arts 2015
Coming Up Taller; National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award 2004

Arts Street @ YEA Creative Industries

Class

Arts, Culture & Humanities 

Beneficiaries

Female Youth/Adolescents (14 - 19 years)
Male Youth/Adolescents (14 - 19 years)
Young Adults (20-25 years)

Description

Working towards our mission to cultivate and empower low-income and under-served youth into a creative and culturally competent workforce, Arts Street's programs target those who have a creative flare, show them the power of their creativity and provide them with important training so they can apply their talents and knowledge to gain employment. Our current programs encompass a "learn and earn" process, enriched with up-to-date technology for creative industries, creative mentorship, essential life skills and workplace competencies allowing young people to explore new possibilities. Youth earn stipends while learning basic job training and specific arts and technical skills in a 3-step process to prepare them for their career path.

Step 1: CREATIVE EXPLORATION: Through projects connected to real-life situations, youth are introduced to relevant art-based tools and technologies to solve clients' needs. They gain skills in design, drawing, 3-D modeling and printing, graphics, web design, cognitive media, videography, and more.
Step 2: CAREER LINK-UP: Participants receive intensive technology training, learn to connect and apply their creative skills and smarts to potential entry-level jobs in demand-driven industries such as information technology, communications and marketing, and customer service.
Step 3: INTERNSHIP: Supported by our staff as freelancer or business interns, youth become pre-professionals in careers that need arts and technology talents.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Pre- and post-evaluations allow us to see the impact of our programming. We also stay in touch with participants to provide wraparound services throughout their education, including job training, resume building, mentorship and educational support.

In 2017 Arts Street @ YEA served 215 unique youth, ages 13-21, 87% low income.

Creative Industry Training
• Served 237 youth in creative industry academies and weekend intensives with an 89% completion rate.
• Academies Included: Graphic design and illustration, photography and digital design, video production, 3D printing,
painting and mixed media, murals and public art, entrepreneurship.
• Of those that completed academies, 99% stayed in high school or graduated

Internships
10 youth participated in more intensive training in the Arts Street studio. They focused on project management and increased in creative industry skills, and job readiness training
o 90% completion rate
o 100% stayed in school or graduated
o Upon graduation, 89% entered post-secondary education or employment

Mentee program
• 58 youth participated after school/weekends
• 100% stayed in school or graduate
• 39 joined the entrepreMURALship team earning extra money through stipends

Throughout the year, Arts Street offers five main types of programs: In-School Programming, Skills Intensive Workshops, Creative Industry Academies, Internships and Mentorship.
This variety of programming allowed us to connect with students during many different schedules and offer opportunities for workplace readiness to a larger number of youth.

Local Awards
Best Youth Arts Program in Denver 2017, Westword
Art Tank, 1st Place Award, Arts Affinity Group 2017
Art Tank, Audience Choice Award, Arts Affinity Group 2017
Innovate for Good Award, Rose Community Foundation 2015

National Awards
Our Town Award, National Endowment for the Arts 2015
Coming Up Taller; National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award 2004

www.arts-street.org
Facebook: Arts Street
Instagram: arts_street

Culinary Academy

Class

Food, Agriculture & Nutrition 

Beneficiaries

Female Youth/Adolescents (14 - 19 years)
Male Youth/Adolescents (14 - 19 years)
Young Adults (20-25 years)

Description

In the Culinary Academy, youth start with learning about food safety and healthy cooking. They learn basic knife skills as well as basic culinary skills of measuring, following a recipe, sautéing, roasting and baking. Utilizing the kitchen lab at the Osage Café, they learn about front and back of the house of a restaurant with an introduction to cashiering, hosting, serving, bussing, dish washing and food prep. Youth also hear from area chefs and learn about other education training available and complete an updated resume. Youth are certified in ServSafe recognized by the National Restaurant Association for food handling and preparation safety. Upon completion of the academy some youth are chosen for a paid work internship at the community based Osage Café (www.osagecafe.org) while others are assisted with direct job placement. It has been our experience that youth have been hired over other applicants due to this certificate and their experience in the culinary academy at YEA.

Located at 1099 Osage Street, the Osage Café is situated with easy access points from a nearby RTD light rail station, Denver Housing Authority's (DHA) North and South Lincoln communities, Lincoln Park and other area businesses within the Mariposa district.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Success is based on the completion of the following:
• Demonstration of skill proficiency
• Completion of national certification (ServSafe)
• Completed Resume
• Job Search Assistance
• Internship at the Osage Café

Customer Service Academy

Class

Employment 

Beneficiaries

Female Youth/Adolescents (14 - 19 years)
Male Youth/Adolescents (14 - 19 years)
Young Adults (20-25 years)

Description

The Customer Service Academy highlights the many careers where customer service is vital. During this academy students learn entry level sales and service associate skills as a tool to increase awareness of, and improve skills related to, frontline work in the retail environment. In addition they learn what jobs are available in customer service, the education and training needed to get those jobs, and the skills needed to succeed. Students also learn how stores operate and hear from various professionals in the customer service sector. Based on National Retail Federation curriculum, youth may earn a National Professional Certification in Customer Service from the NRF Foundation. Graduates also leave with an updated resume and are either placed in subsidized work internship or assisted with post-secondary education or employment placement

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Completion of The National Professional Certification in Customer Service. This program is endorsed by the National Retail Federation (NRF), the world's largest retail trade association. The certification is monitored by an arm of NRF, the NRF Foundation.

Pre-Professional Occupations in Healthcare

Class

Health Care 

Beneficiaries

Female Young Adults (20 - 25 years)
Female Youth/Adolescents (14 - 19 years)
Male Youth/Adolescents (14 - 19 years)
Young Adults (20-25 years)

Description

Pre-Professional Occupations in Healthcare is the first step in a healthcare career. During this academy students learn about the many jobs available in healthcare and the education and training they need to get those jobs. Students earn certifications in American Heart Association adult/child CPR/First Aid, AED and blood borne pathogens. In addition, they learn about the skills needed to succeed, how hospitals operate and hear from various professionals in the healthcare sector. Students also go on field trips to public post-secondary educational institutes, area hospitals and assisted living facilities as well as complete a project on a specific career path and an updated resume.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Program success is measured by the following:

Receive certifications in CPR, First Aid, AED, Blood Borne Pathogens.
Completed Resume
Completed Career Path Project

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