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City Guide News

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Hibiscus Career Pathways Program: Changing the Future for Our Youth

Indian River County, FL – The Hibiscus Village in Vero Beach provides a safe haven to abused youth, ages 13-17 years, in a safe and family-like environment. The teens receive mental health, medical and educational services provided by trauma-trained staff. In addition, youth participate in the Career Pathways to Independence Program, a positive youth development program that encourages academic achievement by developing life skills and job readiness training. Our youth are strongly encouraged to stay in school or receive their GED diploma and on-site educational services along with tutoring are provided. Last year, 87 youth were served at the Village with 78 participating in the career preparation component. This resulted in 100% of the participating teens improving their career related, independent living and/or life skills knowledge.

*Jenna (name changed for privacy), a 16-year old teen, was placed at Hibiscus Children’s Center with her younger sister and lived at the Village for almost two years. She was behind in school and struggled to overcome a personal tragedy she had recently experienced. Through the caring staff and volunteers, along with professional mental health counseling, Jenna was able to conquer her difficulties and became very focused on her schoolwork. The Career Pathways Program was a guide and encouragement to help Jenna move forward with her education and preparing for the future. She worked diligently to catch up in school by taking Florida Virtual classes and she did a great job! During this time, she also secured employment at a local restaurant.

Jenna is a great example of a youth who had to overcome tragedy and difficulties, the trauma of abuse and the instability of moving around in the foster care system. Educational and career preparation training was a priority and resulted in Jenna graduating high school and applying for academic scholarships to attend college, which we are excited to share, she did receive. We are so proud of Jenna and all the youth just like her who work so hard to build a stronger future after experiencing trauma and heartache.

The Career Pathways Program and our wonderful community’s support help to provide youth with opportunities to strengthen and enhance their academic development and set the foundation for a bright future. All youth deserve the opportunities that Jenna received to move forward in life and grow into their fullest potential. Hibiscus is thankful for our Career Pathways partners and we welcome our community to provide internships/employment for our youth, as well as sharing your expertise as a guest speaker.  For more information about how you can get involved and help teens like Jenna, please visit us at HibiscusChildrensCenter.org or contact Frank Avilla, Director of Career Pathways, at (772) 299-6011, ext. 387.