New York City has approximately 137,000 youth, ages 16-24, who are not in school and not working. These Opportunity Youth make up most of Opportunity for a Better Tomorrow’s (OBT) participants, and they face many challenges to securing gainful employment, including: a lack of marketable job skills, lack of high school diploma, limited English proficiency, and unstable work history. They frequently contend with challenges like histories of being homeless or runaways, childhoods spent in foster care, unstable mental health and/or court involvement.
The central challenge OBT works to address is to build the upward economic mobility for youth and adults from low-income communities.
All of their programs are free and focus on improving academic, vocational and soft skills to help clients gain viable employment and/or identify a career path, with the overarching goal to help them on the path to economic independence. OBT’s programs take place at six training sites in Brooklyn and Queens, and additional satellite locations. Classes operate in state-of-the-art computer labs and classrooms.
One of the many programs OBT offers is their TechSTART Program, which is out of their Innovation Lab in Brooklyn. Over the course of the 12-week program, TechSTART teaches participants computer programming and coding skills that are sought after in today’s digital world. Upon completion of the program, OBT also helps participants with next steps, whether it’s job placement or college admittance.
One TechSTART participant, Erick Jeanty, learned Photoshop, programming, data storage and even built his own website by the end of the program. Goodnation had the pleasure of hiring Erick upon completion of the program with OBT. During his eight-week internship with us, Erick worked on design and functionality of the Goodnation Giving Platform and Goodnation.io.
Erick told us he is thankful for his experiences with Goodnation and OBT for teaching him many things about the workplace. He says,
"I've been lucky enough to meet good mentors at this stage in my life and to be given such wonderful opportunities to prove myself.”
As Erick wraps up his internship with us, we would like to thank him and OBT for their support of Goodnation!
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