ROCKVILLE, MD — Goodwill Industries International is proud to launch a new program designed to assist youth in overcoming disadvantages and plan careers. The national youth mentoring program — known as Goodwill GoodGuides® — will help teens finish school and transition into productive careers, with the guidance of trusted adults.
“Goodwill has a long history of helping people find work,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “A crucial part of that history is making sure that families are strong. Goodwill GoodGuides can help keep youth who are at risk get on the right path, away from trouble and toward a better future. That’s good for everyone involved.”
The Goodwill GoodGuides program is made possible through a $19.1 million grant to Goodwill Industries International from the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency and Delinquency Prevention. The grant is dispersed to 56 independent Goodwill headquarter agencies in 38 states around the country. The funds come from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The overall goal of the Goodwill GoodGuides program is to help youth build career plans and skills, and prepare for school completion, post-secondary training and productive work by providing structured and supportive relationships with trusted, caring adult volunteer mentors. The program targets youth between the ages of 12 and 17 who are least likely to have trusting relationships with adults due to a variety of risk factors, such as failure in school due to poor grades or low attendance, or are at risk for delinquency due to issues such as abuse, disability, drug or alcohol dependence, family violence, or gang membership.
“With Goodwill GoodGuides, we will be able to offer expanded mentoring services to the youth of our nation’s communities,” said Gibbons. “Goodwill will recruit, train and support volunteer mentors, who will commit at least one year to engaging youth in promoting their career development and life skills through a supportive ear and guidance.”
Goodwill GoodGuides aims to ensure that the vast majority of young people coming through the program will meet specific goals such as improved school attendance and behavior, the development of career choices, and the acquisition of job skills.
The Goodwill GoodGuides program launches January 11, 2009. If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer mentor or know of a youth who would benefit from this program, please call (800) 664-6577 or visit our Volunteer page.