Over these past several months, Washington State was one of the epicenters of the Coronavirus pandemic in the USA, resulting in the closure of all public and private schools.
The Youth Job Readiness Training (YJRT) team equipped our participants with tools and resources to continue their schoolwork and involvement in the YJRT program. We have stayed connected with participants throughout these past several months by helping to provide each of them with a laptop and helping them apply to Comcast’s Internet Essentials program to get in-home internet. So far, we have completed the application for ten families, of which six families were approved to receive internet services.
We held regular virtual sessions with our YJRT participants over Zoom to cover concepts, such as the voting process, immigration and voting, community education, and crafting their resumes for the internships they have now secured. Internship sites include: the Port of Seattle, Consulate of Guatemala, Sunrise, Global Visionaries, and El Centro de la Raza.
The YJRT program is not only providing these virtual training sessions to the students but also addressing their essential needs. YJRT families have voiced their concerns about eviction. To prevent evictions, we have been helping them complete rental assistance applications. To help mitigate struggling families’ crises, for instance, we are providing rental and grocery assistance and access to job opportunities. Mil gracias to our funders and individual contributors for making these emergency services possible to our community: rental assistance, a $100 Safeway gift card, the Plate Fund, Bank of America, and MAF.
While we are all experiencing chaotic and challenging circumstances because of the COVID-19 pandemic, parental participation has been nearly perfect. We focus on helping families become economically self-sufficient and providing students and parents with daily emotional support. They are grateful to have someone listen to them or to whom they can talk.