AntFarm Summer Work Programs 2021

We are excited to announce that 62 students have officially completed the Summer Work Program!

Persephany with her Summer Work Program Banner

Every Summer, AntFarm opens up its doors for students to gain work experience and learn how to live a happy, thriving life while in the workforce. Whether they are interested in working outside with YouthCore or joining one of our Trail Crews, or gaining customer service experience in our café, we have a variety of locations for them to step in, get their hands dirty, and leave high school with the tools and experience they need before  stepping out into the real world.

Along with our on-staff team members, we were excited to have two Occupational Therapist interns working with our enrolled high school students, teaching classes on how to live a fulfilled life in the workforce and how to find joy in their future careers.

Before joining the Summer Work Program, Isabelle was looking for something to do over the summer that wasn’t sitting at home watching TV. Finding AntFarm, she found a way to make the most out of her summer. “There was a sense of community,” she said about the program, “Everyone is so kind and understanding.” From her classes to working face-to-face with our café customers, she was allowed to grow in her tactile skills including how to write a resume, working hands-on with customers, and how to communicate well with others.

Jocylyn (Left) and Isabelle (Right)

Jessica, another Summer Work Program student, said her favorite part of the program was, “How kind people are.” She also said the program is great to “learn good people skills and understand how a job functions and it’s great practice… I learned how people should act in a work force and how to communicate with others.” Out of all of the classes they took over the program, she said her favorites were when they learned how to write a resume, driving safety, and the work do’s and don’ts.

Jocylyn had similar wishes for her summer before joining the program. “I wanted some practice in a job,” she explained, “and I didn’t have any experience and got to do AntFarm so I can learn some café experience.” She loved learning about how the café functions and getting to gain first-hand experience in helping manage the everyday tasks, working alongside our baristas and kitchen staff. She is excited to use the experience she gained during the program to apply for a job in the future.

While we are sad to see them go, we are excited to see where they are headed. AntFarm was founded with the mission that every student would live a happy, purpose-filled life and our Summer Work Program is a major part of that mission. While the program, might have ended, our work still continues. If you are interested in supporting the work we do and helping students like Jocylyn, Jessica, and Isabelle, send us an email at info@antfarmyouthservices.com.

TEAM WORK: Getting Through a Pandemic Together

Wendy Reynoldson, COVID Support Specialist

In August, one of our employees hit an important milestone! Wendy Reynoldson had her first anniversary in our COVID Relief Team. Wendy started on August 11th, 2020 as a COVID Support Specialist with AntFarm and has loved the work her team is doing. “I hope the community knows how hard AntFarm has worked on their behalf in the past year to make their lives better during these COVID times,” she says about her time working in the position

In Wendy’s position, she speaks to a variety of different people daily, each with a different experience and story to share. That’s the part she likes most about the job; hearing the heartwarming stories from all of our clients and knowing that we get to help them, even if in a small way. Her position is, as she puts it, “Busy, Crazy, Heartwarming, and Fulfilling.”

Our COVID Relief Team makes it an effort to listen to every story to understand how to best serve their individual needs. More than merely a shoulder to lean on, our COVID Relief Team is in direct partnership with Clackamas County, working to assist in the distribution of millions of dollars to those who have been affected by COVID-19 whether directly or by income loss. Rebecca Shields, the Supervisor of the COVID Relief Team, says that, “Her position entails of making sure all of the client’s files have the correct documentation for the County and that our work is clean and in order. I offer customer support to our clients and I help the case managers in any way I can on a daily basis.”

A project Rebecca has been working on is meant to make the process easier from beginning to end for our clients. “We just got done improving our entire system we work out of… We have a new and improved application that is through a secure link, we have a secure upload link for our clients to upload any documents, and we moved over all of our data into a new data platform. It is very exciting seeing AntFarm grow and change so quickly.”

Liliana Beltran, Latinx Nuevo Futuro Specialist

We have grown, not only in size but in accessibility, our Latinx team having launched in June of 2021, a team dedicated to helping our Hispanic communities gain access to much-needed resources. Cristina, the LatinX and Nuevo Futuro Supervisor says, “AntFarm is a place that gives opportunities to adults as well as youth. It’s very much of a community vibe… I’ve always wanted to work with LatinX families, in this position to Nuevo Futuro it will allow me to be able to help families. It’s important that they see someone of color that speaks their language and understands their culture. In the Hispanic culture Family or ‘Familia’ means more than just parents and siblings; it means a strong relationship that instills in people the importance of honor, good manners and respect.”

Through our COVID Relief Teams, AntFarm has grown in leaps and bounds into the thriving resource-driven community you find today. We are honored to serve the community we live in in any way we can. If you find yourself affected by COVID, please reach out and we’d be happy to assist you!