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SCO Family of Services Receives $100,000 Pinkerton Grant Funding Internships for Youth in Foster Care

August 6, 2019 / SCO News

New Mentored Internship Program to provide work experience and career development opportunities for youth in foster care

SCO Family of Services received a $100,000 grant from The Pinkerton Foundation to fund SCO’s Mentored Internship Program for youth in foster care. This exciting new program will support SCO’s focus of providing career development for youth as they transition to independent living.

The Mentored Internship Program will provide internships in SCO’s administrative offices to 25 youth per year, giving them hands-on job experience as well as support and guidance from trained mentors as they continue their education and develop career goals. The mentored internships will take into account individual strengths and offer the right mix of services and real-world opportunities necessary to support positive youth development and long-term independence.

The program will focus on youth 16 years and older, a critical age when young people begin the process of career exploration, but at the same time face challenges securing the formative work experiences they need to begin building a career path. Participants will be assigned internships that reflect individualized preferences and the career pathways they’ve developed over the course of the program.

“This program will equip young men and women in foster care with real world work experience, support and guidance that will help them develop skills and confidence as they transition to adulthood and prepare for independent living,” said SCO President and CEO Keith Little. “We are excited to partner with The Pinkerton Foundation to empower young people to achieve their full potential.”

Participants will be matched one-on-one with SCO staff who will mentor and supervise them in order to facilitate successful internship experiences. The Mentors will provide valuable insights based on their career experience, educational backgrounds, and challenges they have faced on a professional and personal level.

Youth will also engage in weekly discussion groups and hands-on activities to encourage exploration of their identities, wishes, and goals. As part of SCO’s ongoing partnership with Columbia University’s School of Social Work Workplace Center, staff will work with youth to identify career goals, plan a career path, and gain the skills and knowledge necessary to keep moving along that path.


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