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With Pinkerton Foundation Grant, HeartShare St. Vincent’s Services Launches Mentored Internship Program for Youth in Care

February 7, 2018

Community, HSVS, In The Media, Youth

HeartShare St. Vincent’s Services is one of 8 foster care agencies receiving a portion of a nearly $1 million grant from The Pinkerton Foundation for the support of older youth in foster care.

At HeartShare St. Vincent’s Services (HSVS), the grant supports approximately 25 older youth in care ranging from 16 to 21. In particular, the grant will help young men and women experience a smooth transition to the world of work through supported internships at the agency. The Pinkerton Foundation, alongside the New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), Workforce Professionals Institute, the Youth Development Institute, New Ways to Work, and Youth Communication, will equip youth with the tools and skills to thrive in these internship opportunities.

The Pinkerton Foundation is a prestigious independent grant-making organization aiming to help young people reach their full potential, including programs for academic development, career readiness and cultural enrichment. The Foundation also aims to support those who have experiences with the criminal justice or foster care systems.

“We are so grateful for this grant opportunity. Many of our youth are forced to work at an early age and have little choice as to the type of work they do. This program is a part of the solution to break them out of the shadow of retail, fast food and other lower-paying industries. We are empowering our youth with the tools and experiences to dream bigger when it comes to their career ambitions,” explained Brooke Rosenthal, Vice President of Youth Development at HeartShare St. Vincent’s.

Alongside its workplace training and empowerment partners, HeartShare St. Vincent’s will be placing 25 young people in internship positions throughout the agency, including children’s residences, youth programs and administrative offices. Upon successful completion of the 6 month program, HSVS aims to recommend qualified interns for part-time or full-time positions through its corporate partners, like National Grid, and its workforce partners, including WorkForce1, Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow, the New York Foundling Technology Program, and other Young Adult Internship Programs.

HSVS has hired an Employment Coach to work with young people to ensure that the internship positions fit their interests, skills and career goals. Additionally, the participating interns are paired with an “enhanced supervisor,” or mentor who can provide more feedback and training than in other work settings.

“These programs provide a ‘leg up’ for young adults in care by offering work in a familiar setting and under the guidance of trained mentor supervisors. The aim is not to coddle, but to provide caring adults who will help the young people learn what it takes to succeed in the real world of work. Since the mentors come from departments throughout each agency, we believe the programs will also deepen and strengthen a culture of service in all the organizations,” said Laurie R. Dien, Vice President of Programs at The Pinkerton Foundation.

“The Mentored Internship Program creates a pipeline to career level jobs and equalizes opportunity,” said HSVS Executive Director Dawn Saffayeh. HSVS connects nearly 1,000 children and youth to safe, loving homes through its foster care and adoption programs every year, but also has innovated programs like this one to help older youth attain greater independence as they face aging out of the system.

Learn more about HeartShare St. Vincent’s Services’ Youth Development Programs.