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According to the Urban Alliance, teens who are disconnected from school and work experiences after 16 years old cost an estimated $700,000 in lost earnings over a lifetime. Teen skill development programs such as ServiceWorks® can positively impact school performance and long-term career success. There is a significant reduction in the risk of school suspension, course failure, drop out, and teen pregnancy. The more hours engaged, the less likely for course failure. These programs help teens increase attendance and learn, regulate behavior, reduce encounters with police, develop clear goals, form positive relationships, and have involved families. Important career preparation for teens includes on-the-job training programs, even for teens who plan to go to college. Under- and unemployment are root causes of homelessness and poverty.

ServiceWorks provides students with a head start on career choices, as well as the employment and leadership skills that will enable them to make a smooth transition and succeed in college and/or the workplace. Building transferable skills helps students become more engaged in their overall education. The job skills gap limits the self-sufficiency of vulnerable youth. Successful intervention strategies for disconnected youth impact four core outcomes: stable housing, permanent connections, education/ employment and well-being. Riverview Gardens® is an important partner at the table of school success. It is recognized that, in addition to schools, community organizations are a necessary ingredient for the education of students to ensure high levels of achievement.

Riverview Gardens has a formal collaboration with the Appleton Area School District (AASD) and Boys and Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley (B&G) to address un/underemployment as one of the root causes of homelessness and poverty in our community for high school youth.  Riverview Gardens offers opportunities to engage in job training, leadership development, and service learning in a safe and constructive environment. Using ServiceWorks, a proven work model for people with multiple barriers to stable employment, enables high school teens to build transferable work and leadership skills to prevent homelessness and systemic poverty. This collaboration implements evidence-based practices through: (1) safe housing; (2) permanent connections; (3) employment/education; (4) well-being. For more information, here’s a link to the press release.

Riverview Gardens also is a key partner and participation site for the annual Summer of Service for teens. For more information, click here.

In addition to its partnerships with AASD and B&G, Riverview Gardens works closely with other schools and organizations to help teens become successful adults.