United Way Kick Starts Back to School at Avenues

Staff holding a backpack
Abha Karnick, Avenues Development Coordinator, holding up a donated backpack from Twin Cities United Way.

This month Twin Cities United Way donated 112 backpacks full of school supplies for youth at Avenues! The backpacks will help kick start youth going back to school this fall.

“A lot of youth (at Avenues) are over eighteen and out of high school,” James Mullins, Avenues Education and Career Specialist, said about youth this fall. “So they’re pursuing education goals that lead to fulltime employment.”

Because the majority of youth at Avenues are over eighteen, back to school looks different for every youth. While a few youth are in high school this fall, most are taking college courses, certificate programs, or GED classes. A few youth are in trade schools, including truck driving and welding programs with hopes of high paying, in demand jobs.

“When youth are in the situation of being homeless, they may just really want income to have their own home. They may not have a home environment they can go back to after Avenues,” James explained.

For this reason, James finds a lot of youth are drawn to CNA and trades certificate programs that are typically shorter than a four year program. When a young person moves in to Avenues, James starts working with them immediately on their education and career goals. First he identifies where a young person is in their education journey, then they explore opportunities for where a youth wants to be. Throughout their stay at Avenues, James continuously checks in with youth on their goals.

Thank you, Twin Cities United Way, for helping youth start school on the right step this year!

To support Avenues for Youth, click here to make a donation.