Through OFS’ Pathways core program, young men and women connect to education and the workforce through service to the community and through personal change fostered within a supportive environment. The program’s goal for each individual is that he or she become a successful, independent adult. To help them reach this goal, OFS provides the following comprehensive services through Pathways:
- A paid, 32-hour/week job training program constructing affordable houses and working on local, high-quality conservation and environmental stewardship projects.
- The OFS classroom, where students study to complete high school certification, to improve reading and math skills, and are exposed to the full range of post-secondary education opportunities.
- Personal counseling to help young people learn how to manage their lives.
- Career development counseling to help participants identify career goals and strategies to achieve them.
- Job placement assistance to connect OFS participants to occupations with living wages and lifetime advancement opportunities.
- Post secondary educational enrollment assistance and an AmeriCorps Education Award upon program completion.
- Supportive follow-up for up to two years.
As a result of the Building Futures Campaign, the Pathways Program will increase to serving 150 youth by end of 2021. Currently we serve 120 people through this core program each year. Over the past few years, programming has adjusted to provide for deeper programming for youth, thus lengthening their terms (and creating greater space demands).