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Future Cents is a program designed to help at-risk youth overcome the many barriers confronting them. We are a not for profit organization providing a range of services by youth for youth. The program operates out of the Y.A.P. building (Youth Around Prince), at 1160 7th Ave, Prince George BC.
Future Cents is a pre-employment program for at-risk/high risk youth who have acquired a degree of self-awarness and who are working toward leading healthy lives. Future Cents assists them in acquiring the experience, skills and information they need to prepare them for employment. Future Cents youth provide services to their community, specifically to their peer group or other at-risk youth based on their life and street experience which, rather than hindering them, help them assist other youth facing similar difficulties. The youth develop and implement projects they feel the youth in their community would benefit from. This gives particpants the opportunity to develop social and employment skills through hands-on experience, which is a creative, new apporach to assisting youth with barriers. Since its inception in 1998, the Future Cents Youth, have established and operated a number of innovative services. These services and projects change regularly depending on how long the youth stay in the program. While at Future Cents there is an expectation that the youth work on their personal development. While on a full-time contract they receive the time, and support to do this while at work. In addition we provide a great sense of belonging and community by having team days and fun days. Youth hired by Future Cents receive support to enhance personal and interpersonal skills while providing valuable services to the community.
Another unique component of the Future Cents program is that youth truly have an active role and voice within their community regarding youth issues. We have the youth participants involved on many committees and in many organizations. The Prince George community has been trying to deal with youth issues that never seem to go away. A key to successful prevention, intervention and treatment is to ask for input from these youth. Their input, feedback and personal experience is vital to our community and the future of at risk/high risk youth. Future Cents encourages the youth voice. The community appreciates these services and recognizes their value.
Future Cents allows youth to develop employment skills by hands on experience. They learn all office procedures, how to write reports, complete project updates, attend staff meetings, follow task lists, and attend training that is identified in their personal development plan or action plan. In addition, the program is guided by a collection of policies and procedures–developed by the youth–which is similiar to those found in mainstream jobs. The youth are expected to follow these guidelines, which in turn helps prepare them for entrance into the mainstream workplace. Future Cents supports the youth in learning life’s most important lessons which ultimately affect their employment skills: self-confidence, self-worth, and personal empowerment.