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Avivo Expands Youth Employment Programs in St. Paul

Avivo is expanding its youth employment programs to reach more youth in St. Paul and the eastern metro. Currently, Avivo serves approximately 150 youth who are at risk of dropping out of school, looking to return to school or get their GED, or in need of job readiness training.

A Wilder Research Community Assessment (2015) revealed a significant need for youth services in the eastern metro. Of the 123 organizations providing services to low-income residents in Ramsey and Washington Counties, only 17% offer youth programs and fewer than five organizations provide support services.

“The need is urgent,” says Antoinette, an Avivo youth participant who lives in the east metro. “There’s a lot of youth out here who are on the wrong track.”

“The need is urgent,” says Antoinette, an Avivo youth participant who lives in the east metro. “There’s a lot of youth out here who are on the wrong track.” Antoinette says that with the right push, youth in the eastern metro will be better off.

“Being able to serve more youth is what really excites me about our expansion to St. Paul,” says Mai Yang, a youth programs career counselor at Avivo. “There are so many young people in St. Paul who could benefit from our services.”

Mai and Avivo’s youth employment team will reach out to youth at drop-in centers, libraries, and schools, including the Minnesota Internship Center-Rondo, AGAPE, Career Pathways, City Academy, and more. Career counselors will provide one-to-one support tailored to each young person’s specific goals.

“Being able to serve more youth is what really excites me about our expansion to St. Paul,” says Mai Yang, a youth programs career counselor at Avivo.

“Hopefully Avivo’s positive results will spark interest in other agencies wanting to support our services in the eastern metro,” she says. In 2016, Avivo was selected as the Youth Provider of the Year by the Minneapolis Workforce Development Board. The youth employment services expansion is possible in part by a grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation.