Tag Archives: Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow

Youth employment opportunities for Ridgewood teens this summer

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow

With the school year coming to an end, many teenagers may find it difficult to find any type of summertime employment, but one youth workforce development provider is looking to help teens enroll in internship programs.

In New York City alone, there are approximately 186,000 youths ages 17 to 24 who are not in school or working, according to Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow (OBT). They also believe that employing young adults is a key way to help them stay on the right track, finish school and move on to college.

This summer, OBT is offering teens in and around the Ridgewood/Bushwick area an opportunity to enroll in the Young Adult Internship Program (YAIP) at the Jamaica Y Roads Center, in partnership with the YMCA of Greater New York, as well as OBT’s Bushwick site.

The YAIP is a 14-week program, three weeks of job skills training followed by an 11-week internship, where participants will learn leadership skills, computer and office-related skills, critical thinking, interview techniques, business etiquette, public speaking and financial literacy. The participants will intern in a corporation, small business, government agencies or nonprofit organization.

“We enroll 40 trainees each cohort and we run three cohorts each year. Each program session is 14 weeks long,” said Baxter Townsend, communications associate for OBT. “In the job skills/training sessions the trainees do team-building activities, learn time management skills, career/college exploration, take classes in health and wellness, healthy relationships, financial literacy, professional development, computer classes so trainees can received their Microsoft Office Specialization Certification and customer service classes so trainees can earn their National Retail Federation Customer Service Certification.”

Some of the internship sites include Department of Motor Vehicles, El Puente-Taylor-Wythe Community Center, Wyckoff Medical Center, Councilmember Antonio Reynoso’s office, the Brooklyn Navy Yard and FSO Outsourcing.

Additionally, participants who finish the 14-week program earn over $3,000.

“The Young Adult Internship Program helps participants get their lives back on track,” Townsend said. “Of the approximately 80 percent of the trainees who complete the 14-week program, 87 percent of them either find employment, enroll in college or a high school equivalency diploma program, or enroll in an advanced skills/vocational training program.”

The deadline for enrollment for the next session is July 6. Interested candidates can enroll at Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow located at 25 Thornton St., in Brooklyn from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.


New program helps put youth back on the right road

| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow

The southeast Queens community is coming together to help put their youth back on the right road – the Y Road.

The Jamaica YMCA, in partnership with Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow (OBT), is launching a new program, the Y Roads Initiative, geared towards giving youth ages 16 to 24 the little push they may need to get their lives going in a productive direction. It is designed to support roughly 300 young people who are neither employed nor in school and gear them towards a fruitful life.

“We want to build a plan for each student,” said Clare Dwyer, the Y Roads Center Director, “and figure out how we can get them to be successful.”

OBT staff and the YMCA have collaborated over the last several months to create a comprehensive one-stop service facility, building off of the Y’s strengths in youth work, counseling service and leadership development.

Y Roads will additionally provide job training and a GED model within a simulated corporate work environment.

Emergency housing units are available to participants, as well as mental health and lifestyle counseling, and recreational programming and childcare services.

“We really feel like the all-encompassing pieces are coming together,” said Dwyer. “Now we can offer all of the pieces, and that’s really what makes Y Roads special.”

The program will be held at the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning on Jamaica Avenue. OBT has raised half a million dollars, which puts it 2/3 of the way towards its funding goal, and is enough to open the doors to the public.

“We think we have something that works,” said Peers. “This is really exciting. I think Jamaica has a really good advantage. This is where we want to be, we’re ready to roll.”