Alright, folks. Labor Day has come and gone, youth are back in school and the heat is just, ever-so starting to break. Fall is surely right around the corner. And with it, more incredible opportunities to make a difference. So let’s get down to it!
Over the past year, our friends at DPR Construction have brought youth from our transformative mentoring program into the workplace. Our second group of youth recently participated in the program, working alongside DPR staff to improve important job related skills. The experience is, itself, transformative and prepares youth to explore the working world!
Youth who participate in this program become exposed to a future many of them never thought possible. Bi-weekly mentoring sessions show them the ins and outs of the construction business. Youth also work on general job-seeking skills like résumé development and mock interviews.
Overwhelmingly, when reflecting on their experience, youth participants express a great deal more interest and confidence in career opportunities—opportunities that, thanks to DPR Construction, they can now fully visualize.
Is there an opportunity for you and your business to partner with New Pathways for Youth? Let’s get creative in bringing new and useful real-world experiences to our youth!
Derek Kirkland is the Arizona Business Unit Leader at DPR Construction. Derek knows first hand the impact construction can have on a community. He and DPR are committed partners, working with NPFY to transform our world—Phoenix and beyond.
Derek, what inspires your personal involvement with New Pathways for Youth?
Christy and I met several years ago. She is someone I respect a great deal and consider a close friend and mentor. Everything about New Pathways aligns with DPR’s commitment to community engagement and it’s been a joy to work directly with youth through our Career Builder Workshop. NPFY staff are passionate, energetic and entrepreneurial in their thinking and approach. My involvement—and investment—has been very rewarding, in both directions.
Why is it important that DPR gives back to the community?
Our company vision is to be integral and indispensable to the local communities we serve, where our employees live and work. Across the nation, DPR encourages staff to volunteer, focusing our energies on local initiatives that pair community needs with the skills and passions of our employees.
The result sees DPR employees involved in an array of volunteer projects and capacities, providing leadership and business expertise, skills training and general volunteering. We want to make a sustaining difference that extends well beyond our construction projects into the lives of those living in underserved communities.
Where did DPR’s workforce development concept come from?
It started in a casual lunch conversation Christy and I had regarding our respective organizations and what needs, challenges each faced. We realized there was great opportunity to fill both a community need for greater job market preparedness for our youth and address DPR’s challenge of bringing young, local talent into construction. Christy and I took the sketches and scribbles from that initial conversation and outlined what would become DPR’s Career Builder Workshop.
What is some advice you and DPR can give to other businesses/organizations still sitting on the sidelines?
It’s important to note that the construction industry focuses tremendous attention and effort around workforce development. That said, there are opportunities for all employers, across industries, to uncover remarkable, talented young people in local communities and provide them with life-changing guidance and direction. The goal is to give them a view to career paths they may not have considered or perhaps thought were out of reach.
What’s one thing people probably don’t know about you?
I have a couple of tattoos! One of them is a Hawaiian word, Onipa’a, meaning resolute or determined. Life can have moments of extreme joy and struggle. This tattoo reminds me to experience all life’s moments as they come, fully and completely, without letting them change who I aspire to be—as a husband, father, son, brother, friend, mentor and leader.
Ready to become a member of the
Amazing how it seems time flies. Yep, it’s already time to start thinking about deductions on next year’s taxes!
Arizona’s Charitable Tax Credit now enables those filing individually or as a couple to contribute to New Pathways and receive DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR return on your investment come tax time.
And this year’s limits have doubled!
Feeling ready to make your dollar-for-dollar tax deductible donation to New Pathways? Click on the link below to get started.
It’s that easy!
Two of your favorite spots in the Valley are teaming up to bring educational opportunities to the New Pathways for Youth family! New Pathways is partnering with Grand Canyon Universtiy (GCU) to grant discounted tuition to staff, mentors and their spouses through the university’s Canyon Educational Participant (CEP) program.
CEP is a participant program offering services and additional opportunities focused on attracting, retaining and maintaining quality professionals in education, human services and leadership right here in Arizona.
New Pathways for Youth is leading the way, getting creative and building an array of strategic partnerships to strengthen the community of support around our youth.
Are you and your organization ready to take the next step and partner with New Pathways?
Help us fill our volunteer gap at any one of these upcoming activities and projects!
After School Program
Assist ASP youth with various hands-on crafts, lessons and activities as needed. Individuals and groups welcome!
Number of Volunteers:
Web Database Software Researcher and Designer
Research, analyze and report on user-centered web platforms for NPFY clients. Identify organization and user needs. Design capabilities a plus!
Number of Volunteers:
8–12 hours per month for 3–4 months
Got a few hours to spare this month?
Get in touch with our Volunteer Coordinator!