Young women, particularly young women of color, are the fastest growing population in the juvenile justice system. They are disproportionately poor and over 75% have experienced physical and/or sexual abuse. The lack of gainful and meaningful employment is the primary obstacle facing young women struggling to stay out of the criminal justice system and stabilize their lives. With limited education and the stigma of a criminal record, job prospects for these young people are dim.
Paid internships incorporate skills development, political education, community organizing and preparation for reintegration. The training prepares these young women for higher education and careers as consultants for public youth serving systems.
The project creates new opportunities for 40 at-risk women looking for meaningful employment and support to heal from trauma. They successfully keeps young women out of the criminal justice system and offer jobs needed to support their families.