Youth Initiative

Fostering the Potential of a New Generation

Of the 18 to 26 year-olds in our program, nearly 50 percent have a history of incarceration, 23 percent grew up in foster care, 93 percent are African-American or Hispanic, 28 percent are fathers, and 48 percent lack a GED or high school diploma. Ready, Willing & Able's Youth Initiative provides targeted services to these young adults, with a focus on education, personal growth and job readiness.

  • Education: We offer increased instruction to our youth trainees in the areas of literacy, mathematics, and computer skills. Youth without a high school diploma or GED participate in paid work three days per week, and spend two days enrolled in a combination of adult education classes, life skills workshops, and occupational training sessions. For those possessing GEDs and high school diplomas, we work with literacy partners to place them in appropriate college programs with scholarships.

  • Personal Growth: We offer a comprehensive life skills curriculum covering diverse topics including financial management, conflict resolution, independent living, and parenting skills. Programming also includes: Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT), a cognitive-behavioral treatment focused on enhancing moral development and self-regard; mentoring; and nutrition and fitness.

  • Job Readiness: The Doe Fund’s social enterprises provide cutting-edge, eco-friendly training opportunities to our younger participants and generate revenue for the organization. It is vitally important that program participants, particularly those just entering the workforce, acquire the technical skills and experience necessary to thrive in an increasingly competitive job market.

Once trainees have secured outside employment, Graduate Service Advisors closely monitor progress and help them develop plans for advancement, including securing permanent housing. Given that young people have far less, if any, experience living independently, we have introduced a longer and more intensive aftercare program focused on engaging youth.