Boys & Girls Village recently launched a vocational program with Applebee’s of Orange to help students from its Charles F. Hayden School gain real-world job experience. The Hayden School is a comprehensive educational and clinical day school for students in kindergarten through ninth grade, located at Boys and Girls Village’s Milford campus.
One morning per week, a group of three to six ninth-grade students travel to Applebee’s and help workers prep the restaurant before it opens. The program concluded on July 23 and will continue next academic school year.
“Our program with Applebee’s is a valuable educational and socialization tool for our older students,” said Jon Oddo, Boys & Girls Village Vice President of Educational and Vocational Services. “Students have the opportunity to engage staff in discussions about job-related skills while also learning skills that can be applied to find a future job of their own.”
In addition to supervision by Hayden faculty, students were managed by an on-site Applebee’s manager who assigned tasks that a typical Applebee’s employees would perform.
“The Hayden School students worked alongside my team and perform a variety of job readiness tasks,” said Applebee’s manager Todd Desfosses. “We have been very happy with their hard work and desire to learn and look forward to continuing our partnership with Boys & Girls Village next year.”
Next academic year, Boys & Girls Village will also launch a culinary arts program, underwritten in part by the Werth Family Foundation, to help students gain even more experience and prepare for a career in the field.
With operations in Milford and Bridgeport, Boys & Girls Village provides comprehensive care through its array of behavioral health, educational and family programs for children and adolescents at-risk.
Clients come from 50 different communities in Connecticut, with the majority residing in Fairfield and New Haven counties.