We are proud to share the great progress made by our 2020 Children’s Champion Awards recipient, Youth with Faces: they raised the matching funds to receive 100 percent of our challenge grant in the fourth quarter of 2020! 

Thank you to all of our generous supporters who provided the funding for our challenge grant, which inspired the Youth with Faces board and staff to hustle harder than we’ve ever seen one of our grantees work to maximize our funding. Thanks to the leadership of their CEO Chris Quadri, and Community Engagement Director Michelle Jones, they exceeded our target of raising $100K … which triggered (get it?!?) our match of another $100K. 

Together, we made a $200,000 impact on some of the most overlooked and vulnerable children in the North Texas community.

Thanks to this boost, Youth with Faces is plowing full-speed ahead in the first quarter of the year! They give young people in the juvenile justice system the skills needed to break the cycle of incarceration and create positive futures. Through a variety of channels, this grant will assist Youth With Faces students through community reintegration support customized for each teen. We love how this organization works with each of their clients as a child in need of help and guidance, not a case to be shuffled through the system.

In other words — we love the love that they pour into these children’s lives!

In the first quarter of 2021, Youth With Faces led virtual programming in Career Readiness and Food Handler Certification training, preparing teens to work in essential jobs such as grocery stores, food service, retail stores, and warehouse jobs. Youth With Faces also increased reentry support to help residents prepare for a successful return to the community.  

1. Food Safety & Food Handler’s Certification 

During the month of February, they focused on the Food Safety and Food Handler’s Certification, a part of their Culinary Arts Program. The students learned how to prevent food borne illnesses and work safely in a professional kitchen. Best of all — 100% of youth who tested for the Food Handler certification received it! This certification gives them a significant advantage when applying for jobs in the restaurant industry. It also can result in better pay. What a wonderful skill set and certification for those students seeking a position in the hospitality, restaurant, or food industry! 

2. Career Readiness

All of Youth With Faces’ programs include a focus on Character, Capabilities, and Connection. The Career Readiness course focuses on the critical skills needed to apply for and obtain a living-wage job. Youth are introduced to a wide range of professionals, participate in mock interviews, learn workplace decorum, take a career assessment, learn how to build a resume, and are guided through basic financial literacy skills. All of these elements combined create productive pathways for a successful future.

3. Personalized Reentry Support

The pandemic created new challenges for juveniles returning home. In response to these challenges, Youth With Faces increased their reentry support to make this transition as smooth as possible. Community Resource guides, career workbooks to use at home, groceries for food insecure youth and their families, welcome home kits, and gift certificates for a post release mentoring session, are just a few of the channels of support Youth With Faces provides. 

Youth With Faces is the only nonprofit providing virtual career programming to youth at the Medlock and Youth Village juvenile centers during the pandemic. They are planning a return to in-person classes this summer and we are excited to see the continued impact YOUR SUPPORT will make on Youth With Faces students over the coming months. Together, we are empowering, encouraging, and impacting teens in the juvenile justice system in amazing ways!

To learn more about our Youth With Faces, visit youthwithfaces.org.

You can learn more about volunteering here.

Or, if you want to join us in donating to support YWF, please go here.

We especially encourage you to send a message of hope directly to the kids they serve. You can fill out the form here: youthwithfaces.org/2015/11/16/send-a-support-message

Thank you for anything that you can do to help this remarkable organization.