Wednesday, August 24, 2011

New Apprenticeship Program in the works

At the HALO Learning Center, we pride ourselves on the art therapy and life skills workshops we provide to at-risk youth in Kansas City.   These workshops give them a creative outlet to work through their problems and often their pain.  The workshops also teach them basic skills such as budgeting and general finances, applying for college, finding scholarships, and dozens of other things that will help them throughout their lives. As we declare in our mission statement, one of  the Center's primary goals is that of "equipping at-risk youth with the skills to become contributing members of their communities."  The workshops will certainly help us to accomplish this, but we want to take it even further by giving the youth  the opportunity to learn the professional skills that they will need in their future careers.  In order to reach that goal, we are in the process of creating an Apprenticeship Program to get the youth out into the working world.

The program is still in the planning stages, but is already generating a lot of  enthusiasm.  Even as we work diligently on establishing the parameters, and generating the multitude of forms and policies needed to launch the program, HALO youth are already showing an interest in becoming apprentices.   We're so excited to help them down this future focused path, and enable them to learn the basics of professionalism while receiving hands-on experience in a field that interests them.

This program is even more exciting, because it offers benefits not only to the youth, but to the community as well.  The businesses involved will have the satisfaction of knowing that they are truly making a difference and providing an invaluable experience to the youth who most need it.  This program also provides an ideal opportunity for members of the Kansas City community to become involved.  Prior to establishing a connection with the business, we intend to pair the youth with a Mentor who will serve as a liaison between the apprentice and the business, as well as acting as an advocate for the youth.  This mentor will check in with the apprentice weekly to discuss the youth's progress, offer friendly advice, address any concerns, and just basically offer encouragement and support.  The time commitment for mentors is only a few hours a week, but the impact of those few hours will be immeasurable. 

If you are in the Kansas City area and would like to become a mentor or your business is interested in offering an apprenticeship, please contact Michelle at  We'd love for you to be part of this program!

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