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Summer Youth Program

NOVA launched a summer youth program this summer that kicked-off on June 17 and concluded August 2. Because of the decline in funding for youth services this year, the program was much smaller than in year’s past. 15 youth participated this year coming mostly from the cities of Cupertino, Santa Clara and Sunnyvale and were older youth who were primarily recent high school graduates, with a few attending community college or working on their GEDs (graduation equivalency diploma). The program included workshops focusing on the development of work readiness skills, specifically, finding a job, keeping a job, and exceling as an employee; small group discussions; and placement at worksites where they gained real world experience in the workplace. The worksites this year included catering, childcare, retail, medical and service organizations and city government, tailored to the participants’ specific interests and career goals. As part of the summer program, youth also participated in field trips to learn more about other career options, which included San Jose State University, Mission College and Kaiser Permanente.

This year, the summer program also included five older youth who are enrolled in the Youth Leadership program. These youth have been part of the NOVA youth program for over a year now and applied to be accepted into this special program. They worked with the NOVA career advisors this summer helping to mentor youth on their caseloads, facilitating small group discussions and assisting with job search skills workshop presentations. They also met together weekly to learn and practice how the concept of leadership applies to them in their everyday lives.

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