Education, Employment and Life Skills Support
We believe that when our youth are given the proper tools, they can absolutely achieve self-sufficiency.
The youth we serve are survivors. They’re street smart. They have quick, accurate instincts in many situations.
However, these skills have come at a price. Because of their inconsistent pasts, many of the youth we serve have basic knowledge gaps. They may not know how to change a light bulb or fry an egg, because no one has ever taught them. Their education has likely been interrupted at least once, if not many times. Ask them to write a resume or go on a job interview? That could be like speaking a different language-an overwhelming, foreign experience.
These youth are nearing adulthood or are already young adults, so filling those gaps is an urgent need. One essential area is education and enrichment. Our highly qualified educational staff works to enroll youth in a school environment most appropriate for them. We then support them individually through the ups and downs towards achieving a high-school diploma, an associate’s degree, or even a 4-year bachelors degree. Youth are matched with tutors and mentors that help cheer them on, and they participate in enrichment activities with our Creative Arts Therapist.
LAYN also helps youth to gain employment in small steps or at a rapid pace-whatever is best for the individual youth. We offer individual career counseling and a workshop series that teaches skills such as resume-writing and workplace communication. From there, youth can participate in paid internships and progress to part-time employment. Life skills support is also given through daily interactions with LAYN staff and through workshops.
“In my 11 years of being in DCFS and moving from foster home to foster home and group home to group home, LAYN is one of the best places I've ever lived. They are always doing a good job pointing us in the right direction to make us better people and prepare us so that we can survive and be ready for when our time comes to step into the real world and become independent.”