LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — The Lake County Chamber of Commerce is now accepting applications for the 2022 Youth Mentorship Program in collaboration with Hope Rising. They are currently speaking with the community and corporate leaders who are interested in volunteering to mentor our youth.
The Lake County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors initiated a one-of-a-kind mentorship program with the goal of assisting young adults in Lake County through and beyond the effects of the 2020 pandemic and into a career-focused and citizenship-engaged attitude. The Youth Mentorship Program is a hands-on, skill-development initiative created to give young individuals the tools and resources they need to find employment, develop a career focus, and establish early goals.
Young adults 18 to 24 years old are eligible for the Youth Mentorship program. The mentees are carefully selected to receive training to develop skills and confidence from Lake County business executives who serve as mentors. Faculty from Woodland Community College and Mendocino Community College are working together to deliver the program.
The Lake County Chamber of Commerce is proud of its highly successful first run in 2021, which was directed by leadership coach Gretchen Mills. Participants attended weekly virtual classes taught by academic faculty and local subject matter experts, interacted one-on-one with mentors to acquire useful job skills, and were provided with collectible feedback.
The program fills a critical need for many in our business community by better preparing our youngest residents to be capable workers. The chamber is looking for community and business leaders who are willing to donate their time to mentor and train young people during the seven-week program in order to achieve this.
Six mentees successfully completed the training as a result of the 2021 pilot program, earning much more than just a certificate of completion and a graduation ceremony. The mentees left the program knowing that they have the skills and ability to achieve career goals and are important members of the community. The chamber released a statement announcing the success of two mentees: one who started a business selling clothing and crafts at farmer’s markets and festivals, and another who found full-time employment soon after graduating.
Graduates of the Youth Mentorship Program are frequently invited to additional events where they can network with local leaders. For instance, the Lake County Chamber of Commerce provided scholarships for all 2021 Youth Mentorship Program graduates to attend the Lake Leadership Forum in June.
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