For the month of June, our Donate-a-Box program is raising funds for American YouthWorks, an Austin-based non-profit that provides young people with opportunities to build careers, strengthen communities, and improve the environment through education, on-the-job training, and service to others. We will be working with them to provide food and household assistance to their job training program participants who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. We interviewed Jonnyka Bormann, their Director of Development and Communications, to learn more:
FHD: What is the background and mission of American YouthWorks?
AYW: Providing opportunities to youth in our community has always been at the center of American YouthWorks. We started out as a GED and literacy program for incarcerated youth, and now have expanded into programs that provide young people with opportunities to build careers, strengthen communities, and improve the environment through education, on-the-job training, and service to others.
FHD: What communities do you serve and what is your non-profit’s impact?
AYW: American YouthWorks welcomes all youth and young adults from underserved communities throughout Austin who can benefit from our education and career training services. Through service projects in our community and disaster response, our students and members become a part of the solutions to address homelessness, closing the digital divide, improving our parks and public lands, rebuilding communities after disasters, and more.
FHD: One of your particular missions is to help with career building, can you tell us more about that focus and what you’re doing there?
AYW: Yes, our participants engage in paid on-the-job training and attain certifications in the fields of graphic design & IT, healthcare, green construction, and environmental conservation & disaster response. Students also have the option to simultaneously earn their high school diploma or GED. Our programs are not just about the technical skills, we also provide counseling and support services that allow for self discovery and professional development.
FHD: What does a partnership like our Donate-a-Box program help provide for your mission?
AYW: Our students and participants have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 and are in need of emergency supplies and basic needs. The Donate a Box program will support them with food, household disinfecting supplies, baby and children necessities, and rent assistance. This assistance will allow students and participants to focus on their education and job training.
FHD: What can our customers do to get more involved with you and your organization?
AYW: There are many ways to get involved! We have volunteer and mentor opportunities that range from attending a service event, to academic tutoring, to supporting our administrative and maintenance teams. If you’re looking for a crew to take on a construction or environmental conservation project, please visit our website at americanyouthworks.org.
Contribute today by adding a Donate-a-Box to your upcoming order!