The Tri-Valley Community Foundation, a public charity foundation serving the cities of the greater Tri-Valley area since 1982, has, for the past six years, helped over 500 at-risk youth complete high school and receive training to prepare them for the world of work. Supported by the Alameda County Workforce Investment Board (WIB), TVCF's Pre-employment/Youth Development program has continued to show success with youth who face multiple barriers such as poverty, learning disabilities, drug and alcohol abuse and teen parenting. Because of the program's success, the Foundation was awarded WIB's Award of Merit for the third year in a row.
"The program, our flagship of TVCF's Youth Achievement Services, helps at-risk youth to begin to identify their interests and strengths instead of focusing on their deficits," explains Ellen Turner, who heads the program. "They come to learn that there are careers that actually require their talents. They learn how to receive the advanced training they need to be successful."
The classroom-based, school-to-career program located at all five continuation high schools in the Tri-Valley, targets at-risk teens age 14 to 18 years. The program teaches students appropriate work behavior, customer service, and employer expectations. Through individual and group coursework, personal mentoring, and paid internships in the field of their choice, high-risk students are motivated and prepared to complete high school and achieve personal goals for post-secondary education and careers.
"There are so many inspiring personal stories about troubled youth overcoming tremendous barriers through their participation in the program," says TVCF President David Rice.
For example, in June, Ada, who comes from an immigrant family, graduated from Horizon High School and was a participant in the Pre-employment/Youth Development program. She was voted to be the graduate who embodies the best in a Horizon student and won three scholarships totaling more than $3,500. She will attend Las Positas College with the goal of becoming a nurse.
The Pre-employment/Youth Development program is just one of several programs that TVCF manages through their Youth Achievement Services. Turner explains, "Within Youth Achievement Services we have several distinct projects, each addressing a particular community need. These prevention and intervention projects, we believe, must focus on specific problems and deliver specific outcomes. For that reason, our projects target various age groups from pre-school through community college."
Throughout the history of TVCF, scores of non-profit organizations in the Tri-Valley have received funds from the foundation, ranging from healthcare to local arts groups. Human services non-profits such as Tri-Valley Haven, Shepherd's Gate, Axis Community Health and Open Heart Kitchen, have been aided by TVCF. Local arts groups such as the Livermore-Amador Symphony and Pleasanton Playhouse, and numerous schools from Livermore to Danville, have also received grants from the Foundation.
TVCF was founded by community and business leaders who were committed to creating a sound and enduring local response to the needs of people who live and work in the Tri-Valley. TVCF serves the communities of Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin, Sunol, San Ramon, Danville, and Alamo by raising funds to meet vital human needs in the region.
For more information about TVCF and how businesses and employees can contribute to TVCF and its many philanthropic programs for the Tri-Valley, visit www.tvcfoundation.org .
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