“I started as a Junior Mentor, then my mentor vouched for me and helped me get another job. I was too scared to apply for a job by myself, but she came with me and helped me practice for the interview. I got the job and I can help my family with bills now. I love it.”
~Kainoalani, age 15
“ I think I want to be an engineer. I don’t know what that is really, but my mentor is one and he’s pretty cool. I’m gonna find out more about it.”
~ Pono, age 16
Job experience and steady employment is vital for the long-term health and stability of our youth. While other youth have parental guidance, role models, and support systems to help them navigate this process, our kids lack these critical resources. Most of them lack the self-esteem, disposition, and basic life skills to successfully obtain gainful employment. In addition, many come from low-income or special needs families and are in dire need of income. Nearly all have had no previous job experience.
Confidence for Gainful Employment
Spirit Sessions activities build youth confidence, provide them with essential job-seeking skills, and connect them to an assortment of potential job resources. Life skills lessons address the practical skills of identifying potential jobs and the job-seeking process. Staff members and mentors work one-on-one with youth as they practice filling out job applications. Talk circles and role-playing exercises guide youth on appropriate dress, attitude and interviewing protocol.
Useful Job Skills & Contacts
Spirit Sessions provide a practice ground for learning how to communicate effectively and appropriately, asking for help and accepting guidance, following rules, behaving responsibly, and following schedules. Mentors contact mentees who are absent without notice, and provide support to youth who request assistance in homework, job seeking, and general advice outside of surf sessions.
More importantly, youth are exposed to a larger world of job possibilities and a new network of contacts. Mentors often refer youth to potential job opportunities and guide them through job hunting.
Future plans include the development of a Spirit Sessions workforce and job referral network.