Turning 16 and getting a job is an exciting and big step towards independence. For youth in foster care, this is particularly important as we now have the freedom to make our own money, manage our finances, and have the flexibility to spend money the way we want.
While all this may be true, getting a job can also be difficult. Many of us often wonder; how do I create a resume? Where do I look for a job? Once I land an interview, what do I say and how do I dress? How can I complete my high school diploma and attend college so I can pursue my long-term career goal?
The Keys to Success program knows how hard navigating the “job world” can be. Their program goal is to help youth in foster care prepare for and gain stable employment to achieve long-term career success!
Keys to Success is a program of Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation. They provide youth in Maricopa County who have experienced the foster care system with career and employment services uniquely tailored to meet our needs. Their goal is simple…helping us achieve our goals through work readiness, securing and maintaining employment and establishing short and long-term career goals.
Keys to Success provides:
- A Career Development Specialist (CDS) to assist you with exploring career interests, skills, abilities, as well as a personality assessment to identify your short- and long-term career goals.
- Continuous meetings between you and the CDS to create a personalized Career Plan outlining strategies and action steps needed for your success. This includes identifying needed education or training, assistance with education enrollment and accessing funds to pay for education/training, as well as referrals to support services.
- A Youth Employment Coach to work one-on-one with you. Once a career goal has been established, they will help you create a resume, develop interview skills, and learn how to navigate a successful job search.
- Assistance from the Youth Employment Coach to secure work experience and/or paid employment opportunities that best align with your career objectives.
- Regular follow up from your Youth Employment Coach to help troubleshoot issues and ensure work retention.
- Support from an Education Specialist who will help you meet your educational milestones such getting your high school diploma, secure job training, or attend college.
- An Education Specialist who will interview you along with your caregiver (s) to identify educational goals and needed supports, identify gaps in transcripts and records, and assist with the transition and communication between schools, districts and agencies.
- A $250 stipend in order to purchase interview and work clothing.
To be eligible for Keys to Success, you must meet the following requirements:
- Currently in or have been in foster care
- Resident of Maricopa County
- Between the ages of 16 and 21