Youth Employment Service Turns an Ice Cream Job into a Cornell Education

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Megan’s First Job Makes a Difference in Her Life and That of Her Employer

Working with youth and employers, YES helps give youth the skills they need to get that most important first job

Youth Employment Service (YES), serving young people and the business community for over forty years, continues to make a difference in the lives of youth and employers. Although YES emphasizes helping youth, there are benefits for employers as well.

Helen Connelly has owned Sugar ‘n Spice on Balboa Island for nearly 20 years. Each year when summer arrives, she looks for employees she can help take that first step into the workplace. It’s a responsibility she takes seriously, because she knows that sometimes a first job can make a real difference in the life of a young person. As Ms. Connelly explains, “You’re a part of their life even though it’s just a tiny shop. They’re learning work ethics and I think even if they just work a summer, they’ll always remember this job - it’s part of their lives forever!”

Fourteen-year-old Megan is one employee Ms. Connelly will never forget; “When I first saw her from the window, she was standing outside looking very shy. Her mother was standing a ways away. She finally got up the courage to approach the window and apply. I hired her and she worked for me for four years until she graduated high school.”

But Megan’s story was only beginning. Megan applied to Cornell University and was accepted. Ms. Connelly recalls: “The man who interviewed her told her the reason he was going to accept her into this prestigious university was because he saw that she had been working at an ice cream shop for four years. He believed this showed loyalty and work ethic.”

“Employers rely on YES to refer youth who are prepared to accept a job’s responsibilities,” explained Kathy Du Vernet, Executive Director of YES. She continued: “Working with youth and employers, YES helps give youth the skills they need to get that most important first job.”

YES invites its friends and others interested in supporting youth to come to the 39th annual Roman Feast. Held at the OASIS Evelyn Hart Event Center in Corona del Mar, on Saturday, March 16, 2013, the Roman Feast features dinner, exciting auctions, inspiring stories, and entertainment.

For more information visit our website at: or call YES at (949) 642-0474.

About YES
Founded in 1970 by community volunteers committed to helping young people learn workplace skills, Youth Employment Service (YES) has provided over 46,000 youth with pre-employment skills needed for job readiness, job search, and job retention, resulting in job referrals to hundreds of local businesses. Since its founding, YES has helped more than 27,000 youth obtain jobs, with estimated earnings of over $16,000,000.

About the Roman Feast
The Roman Feast is a much anticipated annual community event supporting the YES mission to provide job skills for youth, while helping meet the needs local employers. Originally a spaghetti dinner for a small group of supporters, nearly forty years later the Roman Feast has become a popular event honoring community leaders, businesses, and exemplary students who have benefited from YES training and employment help.

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Kathy Du Vernet
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