WORK

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Ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease, Cole said it’s all about build­ing re­la­tion­ships and forg­ing cross-sec­tor part­ner­ships of pas­sion­ate lead­ers. The ad­di­tion of sup­port from the Red­skins Char­i­ta­ble Foun­da­tion will take the Ready for Work pro­gram to the next level in terms of ma­jor busi­ness part­ner­ships and pre­par­ing more young peo­ple for work and col­lege, she said.

“Ready for Work is a six-year pro­gram that re­ally is fo­cused on get­ting three high schools, all of their grad­u­ates, ca­reer and col­lege ready,” Cole said in an in­ter­view. “We’re do­ing this with three strate­gies.”

The vi­sion of Ven­ture Phi­lan­thropy Part­ners is a net­work of high-per­form­ing non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tions with strong lead­er­ship at all lev­els work­ing to­gether to give chil­dren and youth of the re­gion the op­por­tu­nity to grow into healthy, pro­duc­tive adults. Its ap­proach is to blend a ven­ture cap­i­tal in­vest­ment model with time-proven lessons from foun­da­tions and non­prof­its, al­low­ing the or­ga­ni­za­tion to help cre­ate long-term sys­tem­atic change, ac­cord­ing to an in­for­ma­tion sheet.

By 2021, Ven­ture Phi­lan­thropy an­tic­i­pates that more than 2,770 stu­dents at Suit­land, Oxon Hill and High Point high schools — which are part of the county ex­ec­u­tive’s Trans­form­ing Neigh­bor­hoods Initiative — will be ready for col­leges and ca­reers, with an­other 400 grad­u­ates in the pipe­line every year there­after. In or­der to cre­ate a sus­tain­able strat­egy, the or­ga­ni­za­tion will im­ple­ment a three-pronged ap­proach across those schools which in­cludes strength­en­ing ca­reer academies, teach­ing foun­da­tional life skills through youthCONNECT and pro­vid­ing in­tern­ships and jobs.

“The first one is to strengthen all of the ca­reer academies in the schools so that the kids are [not only] aca­dem­i­cally pre­pared, but also have the skills for the fields that they’re go­ing to be go­ing into. We’re go­ing to get busi­ness lead­ers to watch those pro­grams and make sure that they are teach­ing them what they will need when they come to work for them,” Cole said. “The sec­ond part is called youthCON- NECT and we bring non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tions to work on what skills kids need about their at­ti­tudes for work and build­ing con­fi­dence in them to make sure they do the right things. … The third is ask­ing busi­nesses to pro­vide in­tern­ships, ap­pren­tice­ships, sum­mer jobs and job shad­ow­ing so young peo­ple re­ally un­der­stand what ed­u­ca­tion re­sults in for them — to be suc­cess­ful, healthy adults.”

Ready for Work plans to raise $15 mil­lion over a six-year pe­riod, which will sup­port pro­grams and ser­vices ex­pand­ing the num­ber of Prince Ge­orge’s high school grad­u­ates who are on a solid path to be ca­reer and col­lege ready, the press re­lease noted.

Ma­jett, who spoke on be­half of County Exec- utive Rush­ern L. Baker (D), said the Red­skins Foun­da­tion’s in­vest­ment will help build a pipe­line of ca­reer and col­lege ready young peo­ple who will go on to con­trib­ute and ben­e­fit from the county’s grow­ing and thriv­ing com­mu­nity.

“I think it’s awe­some,” Maxwell said. “We did this an­nounce­ment last year with Ven­ture Phi­lan­thropy Part­ners about rais­ing $15 mil­lion to help sup­port pro­grams in our schools. When you come to­gether on be­half of kids, you can’t go wrong. Our stu­dents are why we’re here; that’s why any of us are here. It’s about mak­ing sure they have the op­por­tu­ni­ties that they de­serve. Hav­ing kids that are ready to grad­u­ate, ready for ca­reers, ready for col­lege and ready for the next step is para- mount to all the work that we all do.”

Sny­der said the Red­skins Foun­da­tion is proud to in­vest in the dreams of young peo­ple and be­lieves every child de­serves an op­por­tu­nity to suc­ceed.

“This pro­gram means a big deal for us and in turn, it re­ally means so much for [young peo­ple and their] fu­tures,” Sny­der said dur­ing on­stage re­marks. “We want to make every­one in the re­gion and Prince Ge­orge’s County proud of us.”

“Stu­dents here at Oxon Hill High School, they can find their niche. They can find a sup­port sys­tem be­cause there is so many op­por­tu­ni­ties for suc­cess here,” stu­dent Carl­ton Baker said. “It just takes that one step in the right di­rec­tion.”

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