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COMPASS Programs

COMPASS Training Program

COMPASS Training Program

The COMPASS Training Program (CTP) is one of David & Margaret's most unique programs, and one of few programs of its type in California. The CTP takes an individualized approach in supporting the employment and educational goals of the young adult participants. This customized approach allows for each youth to gain the skills they need to be self-sustaining adults, while encouraging them to explore their strengths and interests and apply them to employment and or higher education.

Our Employment and Education Specialist works individually with each young adult meeting them at their level, and providing them with internship placement, case management as well as employment exploration for direct hire opportunities.  Throughout the internship, participants are provided paid work experience,  1:1 support, and a curriculum of employment readiness classes tailored to address the needs and barriers inclusive to this population ensuring they are gaining skills that will allow them to not only gain but also retain employment. These courses range from how to make a good first impression, filling out an application, building a resume, and more. 

The CTP also emphasizes the importance of higher education and vocational training among young adults and offers academic case management and support. The participants are provided with information for local higher education institutes in the area as well as the programs and benefits they are eligible for. Student Strategy workshops are also provided where participants are given 1:1 assistance in the admissions process, FAFSA completion, college navigation, and as well as tours and guidance on qualifying support programs.  

This program provides a variety of opportunities.

  • Life skills
  • Assistance completing high school or GED
  • Industry overviews including career pathways
  • Overview of steps necessary to enroll in community college
  • Tutoring
  • Career mixers
  • Volunteering opportunities
  • Access to the education/employment specialist
  • Access to weekly case management
  • Linkage to childcare resources
  • Paid workplace internships in partnership with local businesses
  • Job-shadowing opportunities
  • And more

If you are a youth interested in the CTP or know of someone who would benefit from this program, please contact us at COMPASS@davidandmargaret.org.


If you would like more information about how you  or your company can support youth aging out of foster care, please fill out this form and let us know in the comments what ways you would like to share your expertise. Not sure? Thats ok too, we are happy to explore the possibilities with you. 

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David & Margaret Youth and Family Services has a long history supporting youth with disabilities and their families. Learn more about how Joan Macy School provides students with the opportunity to succeed, no matter their ability.

While young adults with a history of foster care earn high school diplomas at similar rates to non-foster peers, less than 2% go on to earn a post-secondary degree compared to 22% of the general population. In the past decade since the introduction of Extended Foster Care, a concerted effort has been made to increase post-secondary degree attainment for transitional age youth.

Earning a college degree is a pathway to independence that many young adults aging out of foster care cannot access. The COMPASS Training Program (CTP) provides young adults help with applications, financial aid assistance, tutoring, and monetary compensation for classroom time. By reducing the barriers to post-secondary education, young adults are more likely to obtain higher-paying jobs, stable housing, crucial social skills, and, ultimately, independence.

Young adults with a history of foster care are two times more likely to be diagnosed with PTSD than military veterans. COMPASS Program's holistic approach to wellness not only provides young adults with access to necessary mental health services but also assists with education and career attainment, stable and affordable housing, life skills training, and more, ensuring a pathway to independence.

Learn more about Mark's journey with the COMPASS Programs at David & Margaret Youth and Family Services! These programs support young adults with a history of foster care as they work towards independence.

Aricka, a COMPASS Training Program participant, shares the ways she has grown since joining the program. She has completed various workshops and classes

Miles came to the D&M Transitional Housing Program (THP) in March of 2019. He was eager to make changes in his life but really didn’t know where to start or who could help him.

Jessie worked tirelessly in support of Transitional Age Youth throughout her tenure. "Jessie is one of the hardest working individuals I know.” Shares Marissa Scholefield, Director of COMPASS Programs. 

Meet Luis! COMPASS Programs participant.

Jazmin faced many obstacles in her short life. It wasn't until she received support from a caring adult and COMPASS Programs she was able to make positive changes in her life.

Maria was born into the foster system, living with a variety of foster families and attending many schools. “My experience? It was good, all my social workers were nice, friendly...

Meet 19-year-old Luis Torres and you can feel energy radiating from him like heat. He seems excited about pretty much everything, even leaving his apartment at 5 a.m. to get to his new job at the San Gabriel Valley Conservation Corps in Pomona.

David & Margaret has received a $3,000 grant from the Ecolab Foundation, to promote self-sufficiency and employment for youth ages 18-24 in Los Angeles County who are leaving or transitioning out of foster care.

Welcome to Vicky Camarella, Director, Youth Workforce Training Center

Our Impact This Year

  • Youth & Families Served

    785

  • Volunteer Hours

    1148

  • Youth Internship Hours

    231

  • Housing Provided

    46

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