United by the work of BCFS Health and Human Services-San Antonio and Restore Education, a group of educators from Northside ISD along with several local youth gathered for a Lunch and Learn event at BCFS-San Antonio.
Alejandra Quezada, Education Specialist with BCFS-San Antonio, gave lunch guests a tour of the facility and a summary of the transition services for youth and young adults which the BCFS System provides.
Kerri Rhodes, Director of Student Success at Restore Education, shared information about the programs available for youth looking to go further in their education and careers. Those programs can give training in industries like administrative assistance, entrepreneurship, and hospitality, or they can prepare individuals with the knowledge and certification necessary to pursue higher education readily. Restore Education’s courses require certain commitments from prospective students up front, such as a minimum number of hours every week, or a preliminary test or orientation. The end result is genuine help for dedicated young adults whose goals are to better their lives.
While Kerri and Alejandra both presented information on how their respective organizations could help others, they also spent times in an open discussion, answering questions from the educators and young people in attendance. Scholarships, living expenses, high school equivalency, English language courses, workforce training, and schedule conflict concerns were all part of the dialogue, as guests worked through the information at their own pace.
For more than ten years – the majority of which have been spent in partnership with BCFS-San Antonio – Restore Education has been working at the state and local levels to make long-term goals easier to achieve for the youth and young adults who find themselves in need of alternative educational paths. Restore Education and BCFS-San Antonio have found success in a cooperative relationship, with both organizations referring youth to each other, depending on what needs those individuals have in their lives.
As lunch was ending, one of the attendants from Northside ISD expressed her concern for the young people she works with daily – that they are a population too often forgotten, not knowing where to go or who to talk to. “If you know anybody who needs help,” said Alejandra, “give them my number and have them call me, just so they have my number; just so they have someone to talk to.”
BCFS-San Antonio thanks Which Wich for their donation of this event’s lunch.