You remember that first job, probably working at McDonald’s or some other fast food joint. Not the best of jobs, but it gave you a chance to save a little cash or to buy a ticket to catch a movie. And, it was an experience that was the starting point of your work career.
That’s the hope I have for the youth from our Residential Treatment program who are working in our new smoothie business: a successful starting point for their work careers. Currently, we have three boys involved in the making and selling process. One works more directly with customers, greeting them and exchanging cash, while the other one or two boys are busily preparing new batches of smoothies. We also have one who has created and posted fliers.
This business was developed to meet several objectives. As youth, their first job will likely be working in the fast food/restaurant industry in some form, so the smoothie business prepares them in advance to some extent. The experience also is a resume builder.
Secondly, it’s a great chance to develop those social skills and to build relationships with not only Residential but non-Residential staff. This gives non-Residential staff an opportunity to meet the young men and to see them working at their best. The confidence built throughout the process has been evident. Boys have become quite comfortable inviting staff to purchase a smoothie.
In terms of caregiver capacity, the seventh of SaintA’s Seven Essential Ingredients of Trauma Informed Care, the business gives the boys and staff alike something exciting to look forward to and talk about. Moreover, the smoothies provide a healthy treat to staff to further enhance that caregiver capacity.
The youth not only work in the business, they have participated in the development of the business. They are exposed to business records to monitor revenues from sales and expenditures.
The concept of having the residents learn not only work but business skills has long been on my mind. With the support and advice from leadership, colleagues and my own wife, the first month of business has surpassed my expectations of success. Thank you to all who have supported our young men by making a purchase.
We invite anyone who is visiting SaintA on Wednesday mornings to buy a smoothie and support a young man’s growth and development. Our hours are 8:30-10 a.m., at our Capitol Drive location.
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