San Diego Youth Services partners with University of California, San Diego on workforce development program
Goal is to Prevent a Return to Homelessness
Recent research shows that more than 1,800 youth experience homelessness in the county, which is almost 22 percent of the total population experiencing homelessness. One of the most significant factors contributing to this phenomenon is the rising costs of housing in the City of San Diego and the County of San Diego more broadly.
To address this issue directly, SDYS has partnered with the Division of Extended Studies at UC San Diego (DES) to provide Futures--credit-bearing workforce development programs aligned to regional industry priority sectors. Futures will be offered three times per annum at no cost to 105 youth experiencing housing insecurity.
“This program provides a path for youth experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity to become part of the workforce and become self-sufficient,” said Walter Philips, CEO, San Diego Youth Services. “Housing in San Diego is expensive, and education and job training programs are some of the most effective ways of ensuring our youth become independent and self-sufficient, so they do not need our help anymore.”
Futures participants can undertake studies in business management and entrepreneurship, iOS programming, front-end web development or broadcast journalism. Each program consists of three courses totaling 90 hours of instruction. Academic certification is issued by the university upon successful completion of program requirements.
“Our partnership with San Diego Youth Services offers an innovative vehicle to create sustainable economic mobility while simultaneously attending to the needs of employers in the region,” said Ed Abeyta, Associate Dean for Education and Community Outreach at the Division of Extended Studies.
“What makes this endeavor distinctive is that it emerges from assets-based, synergistic and contextually grounded approaches rooted entirely in our communities,” offered Morgan Appel, Assistant Dean for Education and Community Outreach at DES, “in this way, our programming is unique to our city and to the greater San Diego metropolitan area.”
The Division of Extended Studies also works with partners to provide completers with access to academically supported internships that offer manifold opportunities to apply what they have learned in the workplace, cultivate essential 21st-century skills and build industry connections on the way to employment.
“We are incorporating employment, education, and training activities for each youth so that they become self-sufficient and do not return to homelessness,” said Philips.
San Diego Youth Services is a nonprofit organization serving more than 13,000 youth annually. SDYS has helped stabilize the lives of more than 780,000 youth living in San Diego County since its founding in 1970. SDYS is working to end homelessness, prevent delinquency and school failure, break the cycle of child abuse and neglect and promote mental health, education and workforce development.
The Department of Education and Community Outreach (ECO)at the Division of Extended Studies at UC San Diego attends to the complex and interconnected lifespan learning needs of diverse audiences across the globe, serving over 85,000 students per annum and steadfastly grounded in the research, teaching and service mission of the University of California. A commitment to the University’s motto Fiat Lux (let there be light) drives ECO to illuminate educational pathways from preschool to post-retirement, focusing on individuals, schools and communities wherever they may be in the world.
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