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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Your Future Is Our Business

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Employment Preparation & Procurement, Job Training

Mission: Our mission is to provide every Santa Cruz County student with opportunities to discover a fulfilling and successful career. In the modern, shifting workplace, students need to make informed decisions that empower them to forge careers. We bring schools and businesses together to support students in becoming Santa Cruz County’s next generation of workers. It’s all about providing young people clear direction in their lives.

Target demographics: Students through middle-high school.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Over 3000 students

Geographic areas served: Central Coast

Programs: Work based learning experiences that expose students to new career possibilities. These include job shadowing, mentorships, panels, expos, and informational interviews.

Community Stories

11 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

Plantronics supports Your Future Is Our Business in many ways, including attending their monthly meetings at high schools throughout the county. Employee volunteers discuss the roles and career opportunities here at Plantronics, and share their professional experiences in many areas of the company from Design to Engineering to Sales. The goals of YFIOB align with our priorities of creating opportunities for all and supporting the communities in which we work. We are proud to be a part of this important community resource. - Carolyn Auman

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

YFIOB is the gold standard that links local education to industry and employers. Mary and her team of interns have orchestrated numerous career-related opportunities for local students of all ages. I have witnessed multiple presentations; all are stellar examples of a collaboration which benefits local youth on many levels.

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a former high school principal I am very aware of how YFIOB serves to connect high school students with the real world of work. They inspired me to the point that I now serve as the President of the YFIOB Board. They continue to provide this valuable service and now create opportunities for college interns. A +++

Volunteer

Rating: 5

my name is Carlos Alcala and have been an intern at YFIOB since December 2017. My experience working here has been amazing, as I am making a difference by contributing to the community. My role as a website maintenance deals with making sure the database is in tact and filled with the correct information.

Some of the biggest accomplishments working at YFIOB was coordinating a career expo that gave a lot of students the ability to connect with many businesses and leaders through their community. Being able to network at a young age is a great tool that many students in high schools don’t get, so being able to provide that makes working here a satisfying experience.

YFIOB deserves more recognition on what it does the community. Exposing students to real world experiences is beneficial to their success but to the community too knowing we are modeling the way for out future leaders. I have had many internships in the past, and nothing can compare to the impact, relationships, and commitment we have built as an organization to help others.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Santa Cruz County Office of Education has partnered with Your Future Is Our Business for many years. We specialize in career technical education for secondary students and adults throughout the county. Your future Is Our Business provides work based learning opportunities for many of our students, which gives them the opportunity to really explore a career field. Their organization is well managed and supported by young adults. These interns work as a team on marketing, networking, planning events, conducting meetings, and working directly with the county's students and staff. We are all fortunate to have this important service in Santa Cruz County.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a Board Member for Your Future Is Our Business it is an absolute pleasure to be part of a great organization which helps young folks explore career paths. It has been a great experience having students Intern at the County of Santa Cruz in various departments also. They bring such great experiences to the work place and it is great to be part of their career exploration journey.

Teresa T.1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am so proud to be a Board Member!
I see so many students empowered by the hard work of the YFIOB staff and students!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am recently retired from 39 years in the construction industry. Having taught school for a few years in the early '70s, I was thrilled to be asked to join the board of this amazing organization - YFIOB. The people on the board as well as the interns are incredibly generous, selfless, caring individuals, trying to help young adults - high school and college students - find their way by connecting them to businesses.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My internship at Your Future Is Our Business has been an incredible experience. I have gained a lot of valuable skills and have been able to create a strong network in my community. This internship program is not like any other program or internship I've had.

As a YFIOB intern, you truly need to take initiative while working well with a team or independently. As one of the first fully intern staffed organization, students interning with YFIOB can learn about various jobs in the nonprofit sector, including communications, marketing, outreach, administration, IT, and education. The hands on approach of this program allows students to begin working on projects immediately.

As an intern, I have been able to add my own ideas to grow the organization to serve more communities. With the support of the intern team and executive director, I can learn from my success or failures in a positive environment. I am truly fortunate to have found this internship as a college student.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Malina and I became a part of the YFIOB Intern team in December 2017 as the Administrations/Operations intern. One of my major responsibilities upon joining Your Future Future Is Our Business was coordinating the 17th Annual Business/Education Luncheon which is a work-based learning experience that shares and celebrates the work of Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes and is an opportunity for us to thank all of the schools, educators, businesses, professionals, and community members who have participated and/or contributed in some way to YFIOB's programs. This three-hour event brought in approximately 245 guests (an all-time high!), 15 table sponsors, as well as teacher and student representation from 18 different CTE classes in the county. I also recently coordinated Soquel High School's Career Expo which connected hundreds of students with 22 various businesses and organizations representing 15 different industry sectors as well as the Renaissance High School Career Expo.

Some of the most valuable lessons that I've learned from working at Your Future Is Our Business are 1) that the future and success of our youth depends on what we do NOW and 2) the strength of a community depends on how much we are willing to give, learn, and grow from one another. There is a passion or project for every student and we are responsible for starting the conversation and connecting them to someone who can help them discover new career(s) that they can pursue. Your Future Is Our Business is leading the way building a bridge between students and professionals who can lead them in the right direction.

When we expose youth to a diverse option of careers and give them the resources they need, our community becomes more diverse and the resources become more abundant. All of us at YFIOB have seen firsthand how much it has grown in such little time and how much more it will grow. Every day we connect ourselves to new members in the community and those people connect us to other people, and so on like a giant web. Working for YFIOB has taught me that it is crucial to not only take into consideration the opinions of those whom we work with but to always be willing to adapt, change, and improve or else the web will not be as strong as it could be. Without the continuous support of local organizations and businesses, we would not be able to do what we do!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am Morgan Matias an Intern at Your Future Is Our Business. I’ve been interning at YFIOB since January 2017. During my time I’ve filled a lot of important roles. My current role is a workshop provider, where I teach local students about entrepreneurship, business, and help them explore career opportunities. When I graduated high school I didn't know what I wanted to do. This feeling is all too common for students. That's why our work at YFIOB is so valuable. We go into local schools and give students the opportunity to explore all of lives options before graduation. This gives them the ability to explore careers that interest them before they have to choose a college major or career path. By doing this we are helping them set up for a successful career and successful life.

Through my work, at YFIOB I’ve had the opportunity to meet countless influential people. And for a young person in our community, I came to recognize that the saying “It's not what you know, it's who you know” is a very powerful thing. I truly value the connections I’ve made in our community through working at YFIOB. Getting to know people in our community I have come to realize that they are extremely altruistic. I usually meet people at events where I ask if they would be willing to give work-based learning experiences to local students, and I am not exaggerating when I say I have never gotten a no. Of course, some businesses are unable to host students or are too short staffed but these companies don't say no. They give me a contact of someone who could help, or they make time for an over the phone conversation with the student. I’ve seen our community come together at a time when we most need it. Santa Cruz County has shown me that we are willing to work together to improve education for the younger generation. I am so blessed to be apart of Your Future Is Our Business and to help make this transformation.

I think this non-profit deserves recognition. For all the hard work put in to help students explore careers. My mentor and the executive director of Your Future Is Our Business, Mary Gaukel-Forster personally works every day to help students in our community. I am so lucky to have someone this generous and giving to look up to.