Young People in Philadelphia Demonstrate Their Desire to Succeed

More than 325 young adults filtered into the YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School for an unusual day of learning. Instead of studying science or history, they were perfecting their resumes and interviewing for jobs.

“The sessions were highly interactive with hands on learning,” said Michael Scott, a Starbucks district manager and coordinator of the event. “There were two young people partnered with every Starbucks volunteer, so they had the benefit of delivering very helpful personal advice.”

City Year Philadelphia and YouthBuild Philadelphia hosted the Youth Development Day on April 2, joined by Starbucks during the company’s annual Global Month of Service.

April is a month when Starbucks invites partners (employees) and customers to join together in community service projects around the world. This year, there’s an emphasis on service that supports Opportunity Youth - young people ages 16-24 who are not in school, nor employed. Throughout the month Starbucks hopes to positively impact more than 25,000 young people and build on the company’s recent commitment to hire 10,000 Opportunity Youth by the year 2018.

A hiring fair during Youth Development Day in Philadelphia gave students a chance to use the new skills they acquired to interview for jobs at local Starbucks locations.

“Close to 100 young people applied and interviewed for jobs at the event and most are being asked to return for a second interview,” Scott said. “We expect to offer positions to the majority of those who applied.”

In addition, a workshop helped young people discover their individual communication styles and learn how to flex those styles when working with a variety of personalities in the workplace.

Starbucks and City Year Philadelphia began working together nearly four years ago. City Year Philadelphia employs 255 full-time young people known as “corps members” who work in 18 schools across the city. They reach about 13,000 students, providing emotional support and conducting one-on-one tutoring sessions to help young people stay involved in classes and on track to graduate from high school.

In 2014, City Year Philadelphia collaborated with Starbucks on the first Youth Development Day and expanded the event to an additional non-profit partner, YouthBuild, this year to reach more young people.

YouthBuild Philadelphia has been active with Starbucks community service work for the past two years. Though their parent organization, YouthBuild USA, the team in Philadelphia is also involved in Starbucks Customer Service Excellence Training program that teaches customer service skills.

YouthBuild Philadelphia serves more than 200 young people each year between the ages of 18 and 21 who have dropped out of school. The YouthBuild program is unique because the only requirement for prospective students is that they demonstrate a motivation to finish school.

“Most of our students dropped out of school due to personal challenges such as a death in the family, a pregnancy or incarceration,” said Meredith Molloy, Development Director, YouthBuild Philadelphia. “What they all have in common is the desire to return to school despite circumstances they have to overcome including inadequate childcare or even homelessness.”

The recent volunteer work in Philadelphia is just one of the hundreds of service projects Starbucks partners are leading with non-profit organizations in communities around the world. Throughout this week – National Volunteer Week in the U.S. – the Starbucks Newsroom will feature Starbucks partners and non-profits in San Francisco, Denver, Houston, Mexico, the UK, Hong Kong and Seoul that are making a difference in the lives of young people.

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