Please consider making a year-end gift, or a monthly recurring gift,
so that more youth, like Andrew, can unlock their potential!

Andrew believes that Middle Earth has prepared him for a strong future - please take a moment to listen to his story in the video.

The Problem.

Many young adults in our community experience difficulties in transitioning from school to work. There are lots of reasons youth might not be ready for the workforce, but our society loses out when the potential of our youth is not realized. Research shows that teens who are unprepared for the workforce are more likely to be unemployed, rely on government support, experience poor health, and be involved in criminal activity, costing taxpayers $1.6 trillion over their lifetime. In addition, U.S. business executives have complained in recent surveys that entry-level workers lack the necessary skills needed for success in the workforce.

The Solution.

We invite you to be a part of the solution - YOU can help unlock the potential of youth, right here in our neighborhoods, helping them to become an asset for our community! Thanks to donations from people just like you, youth are becoming employment ready, more self-sufficient, and, therefore, more responsible members of our community. Please make a tax-deductible donation today!

Andrew's Story

Andrew is a 19-year-old high school graduate. He is smart, healthy, and eager to make a difference in the world. And yet, Andrew is unemployed.

One of Andrew’s biggest challenges to employment was his anxiety. When Middle Earth staff first met Andrew, he barely spoke. He was shy, introverted, and lacked confidence in initiating and maintaining a conversation. He also lacked basic employment skills. In the past, he obtained small jobs from people he knew, so he never had to actually apply for work. Andrew said, “I was in the dark about how to get a job, such as how to present myself in an interview, create a resume, and handle an application process.”

Our caring staff worked closely with Andrew to help him determine his career goals and assess his weaknesses. They taught him job search techniques, helped him create a career plan, and offered him community service opportunities. At first, volunteering made him anxious, but he quickly adapted and jumped into help, which gave him valuable work experience and built his confidence. Soon, Andrew was able to create a resume and begin building his network. Staff guided Andrew through a curriculum for developing employment skills, and he earned a national credential that confirms he is ready for the workforce, which he now features on his resume.

Andrew attended Middle Earth’s groups to learn conflict resolution, communication skills, independent living skills, budgeting, and money management. “I was pretty terrible with money,” confessed Andrew. “Since coming here, I’ve learned how to budget better. A lot of really good things have happened. I’ve realized that I really need to be more careful with how I spend my money. I don’t want to be in debt, and I want to have enough money for the future and a family.”

Through mentoring, Andrew has tackled his anxiety. Staff were very supportive and helped to build his self-esteem by being trustworthy and always available to listen. With the staff’s assistance, Andrew improved his communication, now holding extensive conversations. In fact, during mock interviews, the staff was surprised at how much Andrew had to say! Originally, Andrew’s anxiety made him resist criticism, but he now recognizes its value. He understands proper behaviors in the workplace and exhibits professionalism and responsibility. He credits Middle Earth with helping him to develop a much stronger workplace skill set.

Andrew’s dream is to one day be a politician so that he can “help the most people by changing the system from the inside out.” To help steer him toward this goal, Middle Earth helped him to secure an internship in county government, where he will learn about policy making at the county level.

“The thing I am most thankful for at Middle Earth is getting me this internship,” said Andrew. “I feel like I’m on the right track towards getting a career in politics. I would not have been able to get this internship without Middle Earth. It has been quite helpful in getting my foot in the door for a future career.”

Andrew’s mother was also very thankful for Middle Earth’s services. She said, "I was very impressed with Middle Earth. I think it is a wonderful opportunity for all students who are eligible, and I would encourage anyone to take advantage of the supportive opportunities that are offered at Middle Earth."

Your tax-deductible gift helps young adults, like Andrew, receive the training necessary to become marketable in the workforce and unlock their potential!