Helping teens focus on the future

Education and career development for at-risk students

Goodwill addresses deep deficits in graduation rates by providing education, career development, and mentor programs to at-risk youth. Goodwill’s Youth Career Development Program helps young people focus on their future career aspirations in order to ensure success.  Goodwill youth specialists are licensed teachers, working in 36 high-poverty schools across six districts to provide direction and support to more than 17,000 youth.

Program highlights

Classroom instruction

Goodwill staff works in 36 middle and high schools as teachers, interventionists, case managers, and resource specialists.

Mentor support

Goodwill enlists the help of business professionals to be positive mentors to students, offering guidance and advice.

Students in our Summer Bridge program meet with their mentors once a week during the summer in preparation for their transition to college. Click the picture to start an application!

  • Summer Bridge

    The Summer Bridge Program connects first-generation college students with individuals who can offer advice about their own college experience. Students meet with their volunteer mentors in a group setting one evening per week in the summer, and mentors continue to provide support throughout the first year of college. If you'd like to be a Summer Bridge mentor, please click here to start an application.

  • Mentor support for young men

    The Goodwill Men at Work group mentoring program connects young African American and Latino men to mentors in the community and each other.

  • College success

    Goodwill youth specialists and mentors keep in close contact with first-generation college students to ensure success and graduation.

  • Real-world examples

    Volunteers conduct resume workshops, career panels, mock interviews, job and life skills coaching, and networking practice to support Goodwill’s curriculum with real-world examples.

  • Job experience

    Goodwill connects students with job clubs, job shadow opportunities, jobs, and internship placements. The program also provides service learning and volunteer opportunities for students.

  • Resources

    Goodwill teachers nominate students for scholarships and provide financial assistance search support and resource referrals.

  • Newcomers

    Goodwill provides specialized support for refugee students and their families.

Meet Jordan

For Jordan Clayton, making music is not just a passion; it’s a gateway to a successful future. As a senior at Sheridan High School, Jordan makes it a priority to write and produce music and give back. He once took the proceeds from the sale of his music to buy food for the homeless. He makes time to be an artist and an activist, all while helping out at home and caring for his mom who suffers from chronic health issues. This commitment to his family, his craft and his community motivates him to keep his grades up and graduate from high school with his sights set on graduation, college and a future as a recording artist. Watch more Goodwill success stories here. 

Volunteer to help youth succeed. Sign up here.