Youth Haven, refugee, and foster care youth explored careers and higher education options this spring at our first ever combined-program retreat. LSS/NCA youth, ages 15-20, were invited to explore various career and educational opportunities while building new friendships. Retreat attendees included DC-born youth and immigrants from around the world. Bringing together young people from diverse cultures provided the opportunity to learn, laugh, and recognize common hopes and dreams for the future.
Staff and volunteers from Youth Haven took the lead in transforming the program’s annual spring break college sampler retreat into a weekend that many more LSS/NCA youth could benefit from. Partnering with social workers and staff from Foster Care and Refugee Services, everyone worked together to make the retreat a productive adventure for our youth.
The retreat stayed close to home, partnering with the Hard Bargain Farm retreat center in Accokeek, Maryland, and the University of the District of Columbia. Participants got hands-on exposure to a spectrum of careers in energy, agriculture, and law. At the farm, youth bonded over learning to milk a cow and sharing favorite music before bedtime. On campus, teens got a chance to talk with student leaders, sit in on a lecture, and learn about the college application process.
LSS/NCA’s work helping youth transition to higher education and self-sufficient adulthood doesn’t stop with one retreat. This is the first project in a joint program between Refugee/Immigrant Services, Foster Care, and Youth Haven providing job readiness and employment support for our young adults, called Youth Employment Services “YES.” Stay tuned for more updates!
“My favorite parts of the retreat were warming ourselves at the fire, asking questions and getting answers.” –Youth haven Camper, Sarah*
To support this new initiative and our other services offering strength and new beginnings, please visit our donation page on the LSS/NCA website.