New JA Partnership: YouthCare & Symetra

Great partnerships create great opportunities for youth across Washington state. Junior Achievement of Washington is proud to introduce our new partners, YouthCare and Symetra, who will be collaborating to support and educate youth experiencing homelessness.

YouthCare works to end youth homelessness and to ensure that young people are valued for who they are and are empowered to achieve their potential. Founded in 1974, YouthCare was one of the first shelters to serve runaway and homeless youth on the West Coast. The goal was to help young people find safety today and build a future for tomorrow. YouthCare currently operates 15 sites across Seattle and serves over 1,500 young people every year through a comprehensive range of services including early intervention, shelter, housing, education, and employment training.

Youth playing piano at YouthCare’s Passages housing program
Youth gardening at YouthCare’s Passages housing program

Junior Achievement of Washington is partnering with YouthCare to provide job readiness and financial literacy curriculum tailored to the needs of youth experiencing homelessness. This collaboration with JA will allow YouthCare to expand its employment training opportunities for young people significantly. Program offerings will be focused on high school completion, college access, financial literacy, time management, and more.

This opportunity would not be possible without the generous support of another great JA partner, Symetra. Symetra identified the opportunity to connect the two organizations and is underwriting the initiative through a $105,000 multi-year grant to YouthCare. We are working collaboratively to customize, design, pilot, and implement a comprehensive and holistic job readiness curriculum for young people as they explore their career and financial stability goals. Junior Achievement and our volunteers will then be involved in teaching and facilitating the curriculum as the long-term partnership unfolds.

The curriculum pilot has recently launched and in this pilot stage, around 90 young people experiencing homelessness will access the curriculum. The focus during this time will be in assessing the curriculum in practice to ensure the programming is culturally responsive, trauma-informed, and youth-centric.

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