Milford youth program received $20,000 grant from community foundation

MILFORD - Boys & Girls Village’s Work to Learn program received a boost with a $20,000 grant from Fairfield County’s Community Foundation.

The program aims to provide at-risk older youth with life and job readiness skills as they take steps toward independence and adulthood.

“We’re providing critical training to young adults who lack confidence and skills to enter everyday life,” said Kimberly Shaunesey, Boys & Girls Village president. “With this program, they become better equipped to successfully transition into adulthood. We are grateful to Fairfield County’s Community Foundation for this generous support.”

Through the program, Boys & Girls Village helps youths aged 16-21 who are in the foster care system, or have been in the past, providing them with the skills necessary to achieve economic self-sufficiency.

Janeene Freeman, the community foundation’s director of education and youth development, said the foundation was proud to provide funding to Boys & Girls Village to support their workforce readiness programming.

“Boys and Girls Village serves a vulnerable population and gives them the skills to help put them on track for success and economic independence,” Freeman said.

Through the program, participants learn to achieve economic self-sufficiency through extensive coaching to develop skills. This in turn allows them to find employment and build a successful future, according to Boys & Girls Village.

Participants are assigned a job coach to assist with their education, financial literacy and more. Clients provide community support by completing multiple volunteer activities throughout the year.

Fairfield County’s Community Foundation promotes philanthropy to create change in Fairfield County. It has awarded $180 million in grants to non-profit agencies in Fairfield County and the region.

Individuals, families, corporations and organizations can establish charitable funds or contribute to existing funds.

For more information, visit fccfoundation.org.

Boys & Girls Village is a 501(c)3 nonprofit agency that operates three youth-run businesses to help clients gain real-world experience. Meatball Heaven (meatballheaven.net), Do Me a Favor (domeafavor.net) and Design IQ & Print (designiqandprint.net) are located in the arcade mall in Bridgeport.

In addition to providing life-skills education, leadership opportunities and financial literacy training, the program prepares clients for the workforce through internships and volunteer opportunities within the community, and employment at the organization’s youth businesses.

Each employed client opens a bank account and an Individual Development Account and establishes a plan for ongoing savings.

To learn more about Boys & Girls Village, or to get involved with Work to Learn, visit bgvillage.org or call 203-877-0300.

william.bloxsom@hearstmediact.com Twitter: @blox354