The number of young people in our communities who are disconnected from school and work are staggering. Thanks to support from the Starbucks Foundation, Juma is employing 25 Opportunity Youth — those out-of-school and out-of-work — over the next year in our social enterprise at CenturyLink Field.
Juma will provide youth with a first job and mentorship to help them overcome initial barriers to successful employment. By giving these youth not only the opportunity to earn a real wage, but also the training necessary to develop professional skills and financial capability, we aim to ensure that disconnected youth enter adulthood prepared for career success and economic self‐sufficiency.
Working in partnership with Starbucks, Juma will develop a scaffolded and supported “talent pipeline” that takes youth from having no job to gaining employment in Starbucks’ stores (with continued career growth). In addition to job skills training, youth will participate in a comprehensive set of trainings designed to develop both their personal and professional skills. Juma provides youth professional barista training and high‐performing youth have the opportunity to be promoted into leadership positions for which they receive additional training in staff supervision and management. Complemented by financial education, youth learn how to save their earnings and develop lifelong money management skills.
Our experience has taught us that there is immense benefit in blending the employment of youth attending high‐school with those who are not. Low‐income youth who are striving to be the first in their family to go to college begin acting as role models and inspirations for their out‐of‐school peers.These Opportunity Youth will see through the example of their peers that education is a viable pathway out of poverty and will have the support to explore a range of education and career pathways.
Starbucks’ partnership with Arizona State University and the College Achievement Plan can mean that employment in Starbucks’ stores may not only allow these low‐income youth the opportunity to pursue study while working, but also may provide the financial support to make the dream of a college education a reality.