This program is designed for youth that are too young to legally hold a paying job. Gone are the days of paper routes and an opportunity for a 13 year old to earn some money. We have created the Youth Entrepreneurial & Employment Training Program as an outlet for these youth to learn, serve, and earn (& save). The concept is to train neighborhood youth to do basic yard maintenance by creating a volunteer program that is made up of three parts. Each participant will learn mowing, small engine maintenance, and basic bookkeeping/financial mentoring.
Mowing – Very simply, youth will be taught how to mow and trim a yard in a neat and professional manner. They will do supervised volunteer mowing for community gardens, public spaces, and private residences of individuals unable to do it themselves 2 to 3 days a week up to 4 hours a day. At the end of each mowing day, the youth will clean their equipment and preform regular maintenance as necessary. Participation within the above mentioned mowing program will allow the youth’s parent to then “check out” the equipment to use at their discretion. All equipment will be returned to our secure facility, cleaned, and maintained each night. This will allow the youth to use their new skills to earn money mowing neighbors’ yards without being an employee. It provides them the opportunity to create a job for themselves and learn a host of skills such as sales and customer service on top of what this program will offer directly. Not only will they learn skills, but they will – organically – grow a strong work ethic as they quickly learn that the harder they work, the more money they make.
Small Engine Maintenance – Participating youth will learn hands on skills pertaining to small engine maintenance. Part of each mowing day will be dedicated to equipment cleaning and maintenance. Some of the basic skills the youth will become proficient at include oil, filter, and spark plug replacement, blade sharpening, & carburetor adjustments. We are coordinating with local small engine repair shops to arrange a volunteer position for program youth. The youth will spend 2 – 4 hours through the summer with small engine repair professional in their shop observing and assisting.
Basic Bookkeeping and financial mentoring – Youth will be given instruction and time will be dedicated at the end of each mowing day for youth to learn and practice basic bookkeeping skills – Income vs. Expenditure on a running ledger. In addition, we will work together to create a mock budget for the program for that summer. After this is completed as a group, the youth will be required to create a personal budget. Youth will be challenged to save a minimum of 10% of what they earn and will be encouraged to open a savings account at a local financial institution.
Each youth that successfully completes the program will receive a certificate of completion acknowledging their training and competency to potential future clients as well as a $250.00 gift card to a local department store (Target, Walmart, Kohl’s) to purchase clothing and school supplies.