GYA Unveils New Pilot Program For Youth Job Skills

GYA Works Junior AchievementGYA Works is the new employment skills program for youth being developed through a pilot program in Portsmouth, Virginia. The current pilot is focused on housekeeping skills. The ‘GYA Works in Housekeeping‘ team is cleaning rental properties for a local business owner.

GYA Works program staff connect youth to clients for services. Youth are paid a wage in accordance with Department of Labor standards. In addition to the skills required for their role, they are taught other skills such as appropriate work attire and caring for a uniform, health and safety, team work, sense of urgency, attention to detail and much more.

In addition to the workplace mentoring that participants are receiving on the job, youth are also learning soft career and personal finance skills through a partnership with Junior Achievement of Hampton Roads. Local professionals are coming to the sessions to share about their careers, what it took to get there and to answer any questions the youth may have about employment. Bunch Real Estate, Inc. is providing the use of their offices for this portion of the program.

Youth are also being provided support for transportation, identification cards and bank accounts as needed. Each Spring, alumni will be invited back to celebrate their achievements and get support filing their taxes.

If you would like to know more about GYA Works, please contact us.

GYA Works in Housekeeping 1

Executive Director Helps With Fund-Razor

Shae Shaved HeadWhile GYA’s Executive Director was at camp sharing the book love with all the campers, she had the opportunity to promote global giving.

Each year Camp Rudolph chooses a different cause to fund raise for during camp. Last year it was Habitat for Humanity; this year it was families in Nepal affected by the earthquake in April 2015. Charlie Stephenson, the Camp Director, landed in Nepal just 30 minutes before the earthquake struck. As a result, he had the opportunity to see the need – and possible ways to give – personally.

Most students that come to Camp Rudolph bring an offering. However, Solid Foundations is not a traditional week of camp. It’s an outreach for children and teens (mostly) from disadvantaged backgrounds to have a week of camp they may never otherwise get to experience. Therefore there aren’t many funds available for donation – most of the campers are there through generous donations themselves.

But no one should miss out on the opportunity to give.

So campers were offered the chance to swap a canteen item for a donation. Drink water instead of buying a soda and that dollar will go towards the fundraiser.

This year the goal was set at $550 to help provide meals that will be packed later in the summer to send to Nepal. The staff then offered incentives to create some excitement around reaching fundraising targets:

  •  $50 – Waterballoon 3 members of camp staff
  • $100 – Pies to the face of a member of camp staff
  • $150 – Mr. Josh, the Camp Dean, will shave his legs
  • $175 – Mr. Rob will shave his legs AND get a pie to the face in his beard and nose ring
  • $250 – Mr. Dave will shave his head
  • $550 – Ms. Shae will shave her head

Leader FundraisersThere was a lot of complaining, particularly from the girls, about shaving Ms. Shae’s (purple and blue) hair. She had the opportunity each day to do a little teaching about why giving was important. Hair comes back. People who are hungry don’t. So while a lot of fun was had, a lot of good thinking and giving was done.

In the end the 49 campers raised (with the help of a $250 matched donation when they reached $250 themselves) a total of $691. That’s $441 just from the campers’ donations and canteen sacrifices!

It was a really exciting way to end camp – knowing the campers had a great week and that they were able to help others, even with the little they had to give. GYA’s leadership is proud to have been a part of changing hearts here in the US and changing lives in Nepal.

Partnership Provides Books For Under-Served Camp Participants

DSC_0484Through a partnership with Friends of the Portsmouth Public Library (FPPL), Global Youth Action (GYA) was able to provide over 250 books for Solid Foundations in June 2015.

Solid Foundations is a camp provided through Camp Rudolph in Yale, Virginia which makes camp available to under-served youth in Virginia and North Carolina through scholarships.

This year the Deans of the camp, Josh and Sarah Curry, created a literacy focus for the camp. Books were read in the morning that coincided with each day’s theme. At lunch, using the books and resources provided by FPPL, GYA opened a ‘library,’ or more appropriately, a little free book store. Campers were allowed to pick a new book each day, return it if they didn’t like it or finished it and keep any books they wanted at the end of the week. The average was 4 books per camper that were taken home.

Thank you to FPPL and the Currys for allowing GYA to bring reading to the children and teens at Solid Foundations 2015.