Where’s Sheryl? Visiting a New Youth Program in Oakland

By Sheryl Young, San Mateo County Program Director

We recently popped in on a robust and interactive discussion among youth and their teachers about what to say and what not to say in a job interview in a college-like atmosphere operated by New Door Ventures at Dewey Academy, the largest continuation school in Oakland. New Door is designed for disconnected youth who are struggling in school and not working, to give students a fighting chance for independence.

Starting in 1981 in San Francisco, New Door’s employment and educational programs have produced outstanding stats: 90% of their students become employed and in school. They serve 400 youth annually and create meaningful jobs for young people with over 200 business partners, as well as their own businesses, Ashbury Images (a screen printing company) and Pedal Revolution (a bicycle shop).

Jennifer, a graduate of New Door, shares her success story: “When I came to New Door, it opened new doors. This is one little step, college is next.”

We met with Tess Reynolds, New Door’s Executive Director, her staff, and Principal Darrell Ross at Dewey Academy, the first program expansion site for New Door in the East Bay. We were honored to visit this new program and congratulate them on their passion and expertise to create opportunities for youth to be ready and successful for work and life.

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