Foster Kids Learn Critical Job Skills From Local Businesses

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Remember your first job?

Maybe it was babysitting, mowing lawns or lifeguarding at the pool. Maybe it was taking orders at a local fast food restaurant or ringing up purchases a store.

Whatever it was, it probably involved some very basic concepts such as showing up on time, meeting the expectations of an employer and customer service. For foster kids, the opportunity to learn those crucial job skills is limited because of the transition they are often in.

United Methodist Family Services (UMFS) wanted to help these kids gain these skills and developed the Work to Succeed and Jump Start internship programs. Twelve local businesses participated in the programs and on Wednesday, June 5 those businesses will be honored at an appreciation luncheon on the UMFS Richmond campus.

  • For Jeff Anderson from bioRide giving back to the community and helping kids is a mission. bioRide has been a partner with UMFS for several years. They have gone beyond just providing an internship opportunity to developing a full-blown curriculum for the kids which even includes developing a business plan and pitching it to other businesses.
  • For the foster kids and students at Charterhouse School who have participated in the program it is a chance to experience the working world, feel a sense of accomplishment, boost self-esteem and gain some valuable skills for their resume.

“We are so thankful to our many local partners who have given our kids the opportunity to intern with them,” said Nancy Toscano, Central Region Program Director. “The kids have learned so much but I also think the businesses involved have also learned as much as the kids!”

The full list of businesses includes:

  • bioRide
  • Car Pool
  • Wings of Hope
  • Boys and Girls Club of Petersburg
  • Richmond Aquarium
  • Café 1602
  • Fredericksburg All Ages
  • Eat Well, Adventure Often
  • Jacob’s Thrift Store
  • Drs. Jeanette and Lee Gibbons
  • Therapeutic Bodywork
  • Central Virginia Dance Academy

Thanks to all of these great businesses who take time to make a difference in the life of a child!