Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Children, Youth and Families

First Jobs Academy Curriculum Development

This supported summer youth employment program provided first-time and transitional employment opportunities to youth in the foster care and juvenile justice systems, homeless youth, and youth with disabilities using the natural supports available in the workplace to ensure youth were successful in their jobs.

First Jobs piloted two training tracks to prepare stakeholders for their roles in the program - the Mentor Leadership training for employers and the Vocational and Life Skills training for youth. Muskie facilitated a curriculum development process for each of the training tracks in collaboration with a group of community stakeholders, and synthesized the workgroup's process into a written product. The Annie E. Casey Foundation, the project's major funder, would like to replicate this model of youth employment in other New England sites and documenting the training curriculum is an essential component to ensuring replication with fidelity to the model.

Nellie Mae Education Foundation nominates Pious Ali for the Lawrence W. O'Toole Award

Pious Ali

Pious Ali, Youth and Community Engagement Specialist in Cutler’s Children, Youth, and Families Programs, has been nominated for the Lawrence W. O’Toole Award by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. Pious is one of six nominees from the New England states.

The Nellie Mae Education Foundation believes that student-centered learning – where learning is personalized, engaging, competency-based and not restricted to the classroom – will prepare young people to graduate high school ready to contribute to their communities and succeed. This award is given out each year to an individual, school district, or non-profit that has exhibited great leadership in moving student-centered approaches to learning forward in the New England region.

The winner will be selected by online voting and will be awarded a $100,000 grant to help advance student centered learning!


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MYTC 2014 Celebration

Colby Swettberg, May 2014, MYTC

Every year the Maine Youth Transition Collaborative brings together youth and adult partners from around Maine to celebrate the year's achievements and milestones.

MYTC’s fourth annual celebration dinner was held at the Brunswick Hotel and Tavern on May 13, 2014. Over seventy young adults, adult partners, professionals, legislators, adoptive families, and friends came together for an evening of fun, renewed connections, learning, and good food.

The importance of mentors in the lives of young people was the theme for the evening. The keynote speaker, Colby Swettberg, Executive Director of Adoption and Foster Care Mentoring in Boston, was introduced by Jacob Hills. Ms. Swettberg talked about what good mentor-mentee relationships look like for youth in foster care and led a discussion about best practices and challenges to bringing youth and mentors together.

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