Chef Andrea Mollenauer through YFIOB developed a Hospitality and Tourism class that was held at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk weekly. This course provided an opportunity for youth to explore careers in the field. Students received classroom activities and hands-on experience within a restaurant and behind the scenes which focused on culinary skills. What a great opportunity for career exploration and building inroads with business. Clearly a win-win for students and business!
Your Future Is Our Business (YFIOB) is an amazing non-profit that serves thousands of students each year through career programs with local schools and even their own radio show that provides students with glimpses into diverse careers. It is truly impactful and visionary!
Can you imagine if concerned adults were deeply interested in you when you were starting to consider venturing from childhood into adulthood and a career? That is just what You Future is Our Business offers to teen students at this critical juncture in their lives. What a visionary organization.
Your Future Is Our Business provides college and career exploration for middle school and high school students across Santa Cruz County. Their work is invaluable; assisting youth to make educated decisions about their college and career goals. It's been my pleasure to serve on their board this past year and collaborate with this wonderful organization.
I've had a wonderful experience partnering with Your Future is Our Business (YFIOB) on their high school College & Career Expos. In addition, YFIOB has been a key player in co-hosting events with our organization (and others) to bring networking opportunities to young adults and encourage professionals to engage with the youth in our community. I could not do my outreach work with as much impact without the awesome team at YFIOB!
I currently have the wonderful opportunity to serve, as an intern, for the organization. Under the current leadership of the ED, Yvette Lopez Brooks, I am positive the organization will do great things this year. Just to describe a bit more about YFIOB, it is a non-profit that serves Santa Cruz County high school students by means of offering career exploration opportunities, i.e., career fairs, internships, and other work-based learning opportunities. I am thrilled to help the organization within my capacity as we transition from the Summer to the Fall. Please take this moment to review the YFIOB website and please subscribe to our newsletter to stay informed about our programs/events/and business partners!
YFIOB continued to provide excellent services through the pandemic. Zoom and video was showed and menus of services directly to teachers. Middle and high school students were given opportunities for career exposure. It was almost as if the organization did not take a step back during the pandemic.
YFIOB has done excellent work for 25 years. I am a retired high school principal and am more than aware of the continuous exposure to the plethora of careers that our local high school students enjoy thank you to the work of YFIOB.
YFIOB is the local gold standard when it comes to exposing school-age youth to careers.
As a longtime educator, I have witnessed its impact on many of my former students. Similarly, adults who serve as mentors (and those who are career speakers, job shadow hosts, etc.), invariably benefit through their interactions with youth in their orbits.
YFIOB weaves together integral pieces of our local community, providing vital education and exposure to students WHILE serving as a launch pad to filling vital jobs that our community desperately needs and will benefit from for years.
YFIOB is the connective tissue between local schools and local and regional employers. They continue to provide vital resources that enhance the community's awareness about regional workforce needs vs. what local school are doing to prepare students in terms of career awareness.
Your Future Is Our Business (YFIOB) pays huge dividends for our surrounding community with their full lineup of services rendered for our youths' assimilation into the workforce. Here in Santa Cruz County, we are challenged with many obstacles. For example, the high cost of living combined with limited high wages and high growth career opportunities help create a perfect storm-type scenario.
YFIOB supports many aspects in overcoming these local challenges. They offer job fairs, work-based learning opportunity connections with the private sector, and other career exploration events. Still, most importantly, they support our youth with the "Can-do" mentality necessary to help them navigate the perfect storm.
As a YFIOB board member, I am honored and privileged to work with such a talented group of people who have built an extraordinary organization towards scaffolding many aspects required for equity-based access and opportunities previously unknown to specific student profiles.
YFIOB is a model non-profit organization that needs to be held up for others to emulate. It is a seamless, dedicated team of professionals who have come together to make a monumental difference here in our Santa Cruz County community.
Your Future is Our Business plays a critical role for students in our county to help them imagine what their future could be. Students typically do better in school and in postsecondary education if they begin with a career path in mind. YFIOB provides students the opportunity to explore and learn about different careers, talk to professionals, and learn about what education they need to achieve their dreams. Our K-12 schools are pushed to be everything for kids and it is not always realistic. YFIOB provides this essential service for our students and educators.
I am thrilled to be joining the Board of Directors for Your Future Is Our Business! I am a community development professional who knows that Santa Cruz is only as strong as our local workforce. YFIOB recognizes this too and makes it their mission to serve as many students as possible with opportunities to grow their careers right here at home.
Being a Board Member of Your Future Is My Business has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have had. Helping our youth with discovering their career pathway has been very fulfilling. I am in awe of the success of the student's achievements and the opportunities that Career Technical Education has provided.
Your Future is Our Business connects middle and high students with an opportunity to explore careers through panels, internships and expos.
I was recently at one of the many Career Expos representing hospitality and recreation careers for our classic seaside amusement park: the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
A student walked by my table so I asked him if he was interested in a job. He shook his head and said, "No", with some disdain. I get it. Although, we are the largest employer of youth in the county, not everyone who is a teenager wants to work at an amusement park .
So, I asked him, "What do you want to do?"
He replied, "A director." and started to walk away.
I told him, "I can help you out. Walk over here with me."
I walked him over to another table at the Expo: Tam Communications, a digital media company that creates award winning commercials and videos.
"This young man is interested in being a director." I said and left him to talk about his dream job.
I saw him later on and asked him how it went. He looked at me and said with genuine joy in his voice "Thanks! That was great."
Who knows? Someday that teenager who was inspired by a conversation at the career expo put on by Your Future is Our Business might be the next Duffer brother or Steven Spielberg.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.