This year YouthWorks and the Independent Living Skills Program (ILSP) are proud to be collaborating to provide public sector internships to foster youth. YouthWorks staff are linking ILSP youth with meaningful internships and supporting them to succeed on-the-job. This collaboration supports the ILSP mission to “support current and former foster youth to meet life’s challenges and work towards getting what they need to become self-sufficient, successful adults”.
In addition to a paid internship experience, ILSP participants in YouthWorks are exposed first-hand to work in the public sector as a possible career path, and have an opportunity to develop their professional skills by working closely with a YouthWorks mentor and participating in professional development workshops.
This opportunity challenges youth to go outside of their comfort zone to develop new relationships and skills, which can be a difficult but rewarding process. As one youth said, “At least I know that I’ve tried my hardest, and gone over so many bumps in the road and have made it through tough times that I thought was impossible. That’s me giving myself my best.”
Employment Coordinator Larry Berry works as a liaison between the two programs to ensure a successful internship experience. As a YouthWorks staff member, he manages all program elements including workshop design, event facilitation, and assessment activities. He also works closely with ILSP staff to connect youth with supportive services as they transition into early adulthood.
“What makes this partnership so great is that we are reaching out to serve youth have been under-represented in the YouthWorks program in the past. As we continue to move forward, it will help our program and organization continue to serve an even wider cross-section of San Francisco youth,” says Berry.