gmhTODAY 21 gmhToday Aug Sept 2018 - Page 109

Once they complete nine weeks of training , SVCF hires the students onto the payroll , providing them another 20 hour workshoip in which they learn basic computer skills such as Microsoft Outlook , Microsoft Word , LinkedIn , as well as workplace behavior and safety . “ Then we have relationships with businesses where we place them .”

There is also a STEM summer bootcamp which runs for six weeks . In it they learn website development and digital marketing and build websites for local small businesses . “ During the school year they do programs like robotics , coding and design curriculums .”
One of the goals of the STEM training was also to point these foster youth to careers they may never have considered , and that pay considerably better .
One of the really important things about the STEM program was to help the young people see the array of jobs available to them in Silicon Valley and to connect to all kinds of employers . “ It ’ s very important that they get exposed to a variety of career options so that they know that they have all the choices ,” he said .
After all , while there is absolutely nothing wrong with a minimum wage job , the goal of their program is to help these kids thrive and become independent . Hogan pointed out that the average earnings for foster youth at age 24 is an abysmally low $ 8200 a year . While he couldn ’ t yet cite exactly how much more their program ’ s foster youth are likely to make at age 24 , he did say “ Now that we ’ re approaching 80 to 90 percent of foster youth working in high school in this county , all the data says that will lead to better work outcomes when they become young adults .” He has seen firsthand what their programs can do . He cited an example of one youth , who had “ very poor grades in ninth grade . He was basically failing . He ’ s now had internships at SanDisk , Symantec and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group , and he ’ s got a four-year scholarship to Claremont McKenna .”
What he has found is that their
programs can go a long way toward building confidence in these kids who are already in precarious situations . “ The young people in foster care , by definition , don ’ t have strong networks , don ’ t have safety nets to fall back on when they make mistakes . Building a network through employment can be a real opportunity .”
He went on to say that the young man who was failing ninth grade “ was only failing because of his family situation . He had just kind of given up . We ’ re not the only folks that changed it for him , but when he got the spark and his enthusiasm back , his grades came back and so did his self-confidence .”
Since TeenForce merged with SVCF ( they ’ ll be adopting a new name in August or September ), they ’ re focusing on getting the youth in their STEM program to enroll in college . “ The agency is actually providing scholarships ,” he said . “ We ’ ve got 156 foster youth on college scholarship now .”
The college graduation rate of their students is 30 percent as compared to
PHOTOS PROVIDED BY TEENFORCE the 3 percent for foster youth without the support of such programs . That ’ s a tenfold improvement .
“ This is where you begin to shift the story ,” Hogan said . “ The employer is no longer just doing us a favor to bring a 16-year-old into Symantec . Now they ’ re looking at this college student as part of their long term recruiting pipeline . So that ’ s pretty magical .”
They ’ ve also undertaken an even more ambitious goal , leading a group of nonprofit schools and the county government in a commitment called the Foster Youth Aligned Action Network . “ The commitment is that our foster youth achieve parity with education employment and income outcomes with the general population .”
They ’ ve begun a “ rigorous , year-byyear , cohort-by-cohort tracking study ” with the goal to have half of these students earning over $ 50,000 by the time they reach the age of 26 .
Hogan is optimistic about the impact the organization will have on teens not only now but into the future .
GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2018 gmhtoday . com
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Once they complete nine weeks of training, SVCF hires the students onto the payroll, providing them another 20 hour workshoip in which they learn basic computer skills such as Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Word, LinkedIn, as well as workplace behavior and safety. “Then we have relationships with businesses where we place them.” There is also a STEM summer boot- camp which runs for six weeks. In it they learn website development and digital marketing and build websites for local small businesses. “During the school year they do programs like robotics, coding and design curriculums.” One of the goals of the STEM training was also to point these foster youth to careers they may never have considered, and that pay considerably better. One of the really important things about the STEM program was to help the young people see the array of jobs avail- able to them in Silicon Valley and t ۋBX[[و[\Y\ˈ8']8&\\B[\ܝ[]^H]^YH\KB]Hو\Y\[ۜ]^Hۛ]^H]H[HX\8'HHZY Y\[ [H\H\X][B[ܛۙ]HZ[[][HYB؋H[وZ\ܘ[H\š[\HY]H[XYB[\[[ [[Y]]H]\YHX\[܈\[]]YH \[X\X[H  BYX\[HH[&]Y]]H^XB]X[ܙHZ\ܘ[x&\\[]\HZ[HXZH]YH BY^H8']x&\H\X[ L\[و\[]ܚ[[Y[\[K[H]B^\][XY]\ܚ] BY\[^HXYH[[Y[˸'BH\Y[\[]Z\ܘ[\[ˈH]Y[^[\BوۙH[] Y8'\H܂ܘY\[[ܘYKH\\X[BZ[[ˈx&\Y[\\][\[X[X[H[Xۂ[^HXY\\ܛ\ [x&\H\^YX\\\\[[۝X[K'B]H\[\]Z\ܘ[\[Hۙ^H\Z[[ۙY[H[\HY˜\H[XYH[X\[\]X][ۜ˂'H[[[H[\\KBY[][ۋ۸&]]Hۙ]ܚ۸&]]HY]H][Xۂ[^HXZHZ\Z\ˈZ[[B]ܚY[\[[HBX[ܝ[]K'BH[ۈ^H]H[[›X[\Z[[[ܘYB'\ۛHZ[[X]\Hو\[Z[B]X][ۋHY\[و][\ x&\HHۛH][Y]܈[K][HH\[\[\X\HX\ܘY\[YBX[Y\[XۙY[K'B[HY[ܘHY\Y]Րт^x&[HY[H]H[]Y\܈\[X\K^x&\H\[›ۈ][H[][Z\SHBܘ[H[[YK8'HY[B\XX[HݚY[\\8'HBZY 8'x&]H MM\[]ۂYH\\˸'BHYHܘYX][ۈ]HوZ\Y[\ \[\\\Y‘SH8(SԑSS8(SPTSUQT TSPT NH \[܈\[]]]H\ܝوXܘ[\ˈ]8&\B[[\ݙ[Y[ '\\\H[HY[YBܞK8'H[ZY 8'H[\Y\\›ۙ\\[\H]܈[BM^YX\[[[X[Xˈ^x&\B[]\YHY[\\قZ\ۙ\HXܝZ][\[[K]8&\]HXYX[ 'B^x&]H[[\Z[[][[ܙH[X][\[ XY[Hܛ\وۜٚ][H[Bݙ\Y[[H[Z]Y[[YB\[][YۙYX[ۈ]ܚ˂'H[Z]Y[\]\\[]XY]H\]H]YX][ۂ[\[[[YH]Y\]H[\[[][ۋ'B^x&]HY[H8'Yܛ\YX\XKBYX\ܝ XKXܝX[Yx'B]H[]H[و\BY[X\[ݙ\ L HB[YH^HXXHYHو [\[Z\XX]H[\XHܙ[^][ۈ[]HۈY[ۛH][H]\KZ^KBL