ROCKVILLE, Md., April 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Goodwill is enhancing its successful national youth mentoring program in an effort to assist more youth in high-risk situations to make better life choices. At this critical moment, with high youth unemployment discouraging many teens, young people need positive role models who show them that they can indeed succeed.
This new phase of Goodwill GoodGuides® is made possible through a $9 million three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. This will provide for additional training and mentor support, advocacy and teaching roles for mentors, expanded parent engagement and more structured activities at 22 Goodwill agencies around the United States.
'The unemployment rate for youth ages 16 to 19 is currently at nearly 21 percent—three times the national average for the full working population," said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. "Goodwill's GoodGuides program helps to keep these youth on the right path, despite the employment challenges they face. The result is stronger families and better communities."
The GoodGuides program serves youth between the ages of 12 and 17 who want to learn about careers and prepare for success. It helps them build career plans and skills and prepare for school completion, post-secondary training and productive work.
The Goodwill GoodGuides program began in 2009 with a $19.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency and Delinquency Prevention. Goodwill Industries International dispersed that original grant to 56 independent Goodwill agencies in 38 states around the country.
The enhanced GoodGuides program seeks to improve outcomes for more than 2,640 youth in high-risk situation. One tool for doing so will be the GoodProspects® website (goodprospects.goodwill.com), a career exploration and social media site offering online support and resources for mentors, parents and local GoodGuides staff.
To learn more about how Goodwill helps youth, adults and their families reach their full potential, visit www.goodwill.org.
ABOUT GOODWILL INDUSTRIES INTERNATIONAL Goodwill Industries International is a network of 165 community-based agencies in the United States and Canada with a presence in 14 other countries. Goodwill agencies are innovative and sustainable social enterprises that fund job training programs, employment placement services and other community-based programs by selling donated clothing and household items in more than 2,700 stores and online at shopgoodwill.com®. Goodwill also builds revenue and creates jobs by contracting with businesses and government agencies to provide a wide range of commercial services, including packaging and assembly, food service preparation, and document imaging and shredding. Last year, more than 6.7 million people in the United States and Canada benefited from Goodwill's career services. Goodwill channels 82 percent of its revenues directly into its programs and services. To find a Goodwill location near you, use the online locator at www.goodwill.org, or call (800) GOODWILL. Follow us on Twitter:@GoodwillIntl, and find us on Facebook: GoodwillIntl.