The Xcel Energy Foundation recently awarded Goodwill of Colorado a grant to help young adults in our state achieve greater independence. Goodwill’s Youth Career Development Services (YCDS) helps address deficits in high school graduation rates by providing students with training and comprehensive support to ensure success. Now, this suite of programs can reach more young adults thanks to Xcel Energy Foundation.
Goodwill’s trained staff provide students with important social interaction and emotional support, particularly critical among refugee populations, and at under-resourced schools. Participating youth directly engage with employers, who host work site visits, career exploration days, and job shadows in high-demand and high-growth industries. Partner employers also provide mentorship and real-world experience, helping young adults identify and work to achieve career aspirations.
Kevo was a junior at Denver’s Thomas Jefferson High School and was worried he might not graduate due to health issues that forced him to miss months of class. His homeroom teacher contacted Goodwill’s Mentor Coordinator, who connected Kevo with a tutor to help him make up his missing credits.
In April, Kevo was still unsure he would graduate, much less attend college. However, thanks to Goodwill’s close partnership with the Community College of Aurora (CCA), Kevo was eligible for a scholarship through Goodwill’s YCDS program. Kevo worked diligently on his application. He, his mentor, and Goodwill’s Mentor Coordinator spent hours editing his essays and practicing interview skills. His hard work paid off and Kevo was awarded this life-changing scholarship, which will allow him to complete his first two years of post-secondary education at no cost.
After hearing the news, Kevo emailed a message that brought our Mentor Coordinator to tears: “Mrs. Ali, I just found out the wild news! I am so thankful for you and appreciate you so much, this wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for you!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you, words can’t describe, but my feelings can. I am truly blessed and so thankful for you.”