Successful independence for our graduates is not an automatic accomplishment. Some alumni attend college, but many go straight to the job market. It is thus important that we provide vocational training to help our youth develop employable skills, starting before high school graduation. Internship programs allow young people to learn woodworking, mechanics, horticulture, landscaping, video or audio studio editing, photography, and computer skills.
Every resident is given the opportunity to work with a team of peers during the summer to earn personal spending money, doing landscaping, gardening, tree trimming and other outdoor tasks. A trip to the bank to set up a child’s first savings account is also an important tradition, and follows participation in the summer work program.
All teenagers participate in Preparation for Adult Living. Topics include applying for a job, setting up a bank account, managing a budget, renting an apartment, etc. This curriculum is supplemented each summer with workshops on career development. During Career Week, speakers come from different professions to outline the road that leads to success in that field.
Following graduation, students can move to HCYR’s campus for young adults, Enhanced Horizons. At EH, they are helped to find employment, or to prepare for college. They are also guided to special job training and vocational certification opportunities in the community.
At EH, youths are taught life skills like money management, consumer awareness, use of credit, job search/interview strategies, communication skills, and health care accessibility.