MoneySmart! helped youth and adults:

▪ Create a financial plan for reaching their goals in life
▪ Manage their money by budgeting and keeping good records
▪ Begin saving and investing their money
▪ Establish, use or repair their credit history
▪ Protect what they have with insurance

The program included daily cash drawings, prizes, materials, snacks, a certificate, and an optional day-long “Financial Survivor” trip to NY, NY.

Learn 2 Earn (aka Get a Job!) gave youth ages 16-21 the skills they needed to get, keep, and succeed at their first job! Learn 2 Earn included 40 hours of hands-on classroom and field-based activities and 40 hours of workplace-based work experience. Participants completing the program earned stipends of up to $110. Participants completing the program were granted Society membership and benefits. The program was offered at no charge. However, a refundable $20 deposit was required and was returned to participants completing all program activities. Learn 2 Earn covered:

▪ workplace skills and work ethics
▪ basic skills for retail operations
▪ financial planning and management
▪ workplace communication skills
▪ career development and transition into the workplace

logo, girlventure

GirlVenture! was a 2-week summer program offered in partnership with the Brick House Community Resource Center and Franklin-Hampshire Career Center to help girls and young women, ages 13-21, in the Town of Montague learn how to start and operate their own business, develop their job skills, and reach their financial goals. YES used award-winning programming developed internally for its BizVenture! program and by the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship and the National Endowment for Financial Education. Instructors were female NFTE-Certified Entrepreneurship Teachers (CETs) and staff from Franklin-Hampshire Career Center. Local female business owners and other CETs were also on hand as guest speakers and advisors. Tuition was sliding scale, $25-$200, based on household income and covered all program activities and materials, local transportation, an overnight NY, NY business trip, a college credit exam, refreshments, and lunches. No applicant was denied based on inability to pay. Participants completing the program were granted Society membership and benefits.

Included
▪ a “BizBinder” filled with business tools
▪ visits with local women business owners
▪ invention, sales & stock contests
▪ PowerPoint business plan presentation
▪ meals, snacks, prizes and T-Shirts
▪ YES, NEFE & Career Center diplomas
▪ optional college credit exam
▪ business trip to NY, NY

Outcomes
▪ business plans for the ventures of their choice
▪ career plans, résumés, job search/interview skills
▪ financial plans to reach their personal goals
▪ Society membership and benefits

YES U Can logo

YES-U-CAN was a college-like learning experience for Orange teens and young adults ages 16-24 with disabilities. Our goal was to help them find and follow their own path to prosperity — by preparing them to succeed in employment, business ownership, and managing their money. Through our TechACCESS program, they explored how assistive technology could help them reach their personal and career goals. They had the support of six YES staff members and a volunteer mentor, including several with disabilities, who were committed to helping them reach their goals.  

The Program
Organized into a semesters, participants completed three YES programs: Learn 2 Earn (36 hours), MoneySmarts! (12 hours), BizVenture! (54 hours), and an Internship (36 hours) at YES BizCenter or working on a YES project (music studio, teen website, inkjet refill biz, fundraising publication, and/or tag sale). They had the opportunity to broaden their networks and to earn money and in-kind services by helping others through the Odd Job Squad and North Quabbin Time Bank. And they had the chance to socialize at our Teen Cyber Café and enjoy movies and field trips on our Fun Fridays. Participants completing the program were granted Society membership and benefits.

Partners & Supporters
YES-U-CAN was a part of the North Quabbin TechACCESS project, a collaborative effort to help people with disabilities expand their social, academic, and livelihood horizons by making local programs, services and opportunities more accessible.

Ralph C. Mahar Regional School District
Quabbin House
North Quabbin Citizen Advocacy
Stavros Center for Independent Living
Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission
Town of Orange Community Development Office
Commonwealth Corps
United Way of Franklin County

TechVenture! helped youth aged 13-21 become more tech-savvy while learning how to earn a living in today’s tech-oriented world. No prior tech, business, or work experience was required. Program fee was sliding scale, $50.00-$250.00. No applicant was denied based on inability to pay. Fee included visits with local tech business owners, lunches and snacks, diploma, and IC3 certificate (for those who passed the exam). Participants:

▪ built a PC from the parts up
▪ built a personal website and blog
▪ learned to make free phone calls using Skype
▪ sold items on eBay
▪ explored tech careers
▪ tested for IC3 certification from Microsoft
▪ were granted Society membership and benefits

 

logo, youthtube

YouthTube was a joint program of YES and DIAL/SELF TeenLine, North Quabbin Satellite Office. Teens and young adults, ages 13-21, who participated in YouthTube learned to use free digital tools to combine photos, music, narration, scanned images, titles, and more into their own 3-minute digital stories that they uploaded to YouTube. The program was offered over four Thursdays, from 4:00-6:30 p.m. YouthTube followed a 24-hour training of trainers by Janet Kaplan-Bucciarelli of Stories That Move, Shutesbury, MA.

coopbizteam

Our 140-hour CoopBizTeam program helped YES members research and write their business plan for the YES BizCenter and the Teen Cyber Cafe. The plan won the  USDA/National 4-H Council’s 2002 Cooperative Business Plan competition and $2,000. It also enabled YES to acquire a mortgage to purchase two adjoining 19th-century buildings in historic downtown Orange. Thanks to the many neighbors, members, and businesses who pitched in to help renovate them, the buildings were home to YES, the YES BizCenter, and other social enterprises from February 2003 and September 2013. The program was supported by a grant from the UMASS, Amherst Public Service Endowment.

ArtVenture! was a joint program hosted at the Brick House’s Teen HotSpot in Turner’s Falls that helped teen musicians learn how to market compilation CDs of their recordings. The group were interviewed and got airplay on WMUA at UMASS, Amherst, and consigned their CD’s from a display they created and arranged to place on the front counter of About Music in Greenfield.