Community-Based Program Empowers Youth on Probation with Work-Ready Skills

Community-Based Program Empowers Youth on Probation with Work-Ready Skills

After 20 years of serving local juvenile residents, Youth With Faces is excited to announce the launch of our first community-based program. In partnership with Collin County Juvenile Probation Services, the new program offers young people on community supervision the opportunity to learn and practice social, job and life skills that are essential to securing and maintaining living-wage jobs.

Career Readiness Volunteer Mayra Gutierrez and YWF Program Specialist Geralynne Solitaire

Justice-involved youth seeking employment or working to meet other important life goals, such as attending college or trade school, are referred to Youth With Faces by the juvenile department. The student can start the course at any time throughout the year and will complete lessons on career foundations, exploring career pathways, interview practice, conflict resolution, goal setting and more. Young people in this program will also receive career and education coaching as well as referrals to employers and community-based providers that can assist with food security, housing support and health and wellness services.

“We are very excited about expanding our ongoing partnership with Youth with Faces into the community. It is our hope and expectation that participants and their families will greatly benefit from this new initiative,” said Mike Combest, Deputy Director, Collin County Juvenile Probation. “Learning and developing the skills necessary to enter the workforce will most certainly enhance their futures.”

The program wouldn’t be possible without the help of volunteers and community partners like Local Good Center. In addition to providing classroom space for the Youth With Faces community-based Career Readiness program, Local Good Center volunteers assist with lessons such as mock interviews and resume writing. Youth With Faces students and their families also have access to the center’s life-changing educational programs and additional services in health and wellness, advocacy and job placement.

Local Good Center Job Readiness Director Maya Quinn and YWF Director of Programs Dr. Jazminda Ryan

“Local Good Center is proud to partner with Youth With Faces to provide hands-on career readiness support to our community’s justice-involved youth,” said LGC executive director Julissa Estrada. “Our organization exists to create lasting good in North Texas, and investing in young people to end the cycle of incarceration will create a ripple effect that Collin County can celebrate.”

Social emotional learning expert Geralynne Solitaire joined Youth With Faces in 2022 as program specialist and instructor for the community-based program. Geralynne previously served as a Social and Interpersonal Learning (SAIL) teacher and case manager where she supported the physical, social, and emotional needs of students. She has been recognized for her work in curriculum development, family and community collaboration, career exploration, and activities to build the self-esteem of students.

“We are excited about this new opportunity to serve youth on probation and grateful for our tremendous program partners in Collin County,” said Chris Quadri, Youth With Faces CEO. “With this collaborative approach, we will provide the foundational skills and critical support services young people need to build a positive and productive pathway into adulthood.”