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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

Vicky Camarella, Director, Youth Workforce Training Center

The Youth Workforce Training Center is the one of the newest additions to the 108-year-old David & Margaret Youth and Family Services, and it’s being led by the agency’s newest director, Vicky Camarella. Camarella came to David & Margaret with a wealth of retail and e-commerce management experience.

The program is housed in a new facility on the agency’s south campus, and includes The Store @ David & Margaret and Dave & Maggie’s Café, both open to the public. They are designed to provide youth who are transitioning out of foster care, and into independence, with the basic skills they will need to get and keep a job.

Most transitional age foster youth have never held a job before. To help boost their chances of success, they receive extensive coaching from program staff before they are placed in an internship at the store or café. The program also includes paid internships at partnering local businesses, paid for by the agency, to expand the youths’ awareness of the myriad opportunities the marketplace holds.

Another aspect of the program is the Cedar Springs Apartments, also on campus, which provides supportive housing to former foster youth. Housing is the biggest hurdle faced by these youth, and without a secure place to live, they are less apt to be successful in other areas of their lives.

A group study project at the University of La Verne is working with her to create a business plan for the center. “I want to build our business and help these foster youth integrate,” Camarella says. “The store and café are driven by our community, and serve the purpose of helping the youth in our program. My dream is that kids who are here will come back someday and be the leaders on this campus.

Our Impact This Year

  • Youth & Families Served


  • Youth Internship Hours


  • Housing Provided


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