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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 Programs Supports Youth with a History of Foster Care

In California, AB-12, or Extended Foster Care, allows young adults to stay in the system until age 21 while engaging in transitional services that help to prepare for independent adulthood. For youth who lack supportive connections and financial resources, programs like COMPASS’ Transitional Housing Program can provide the tools and resources necessary to thrive in adulthood.

Brandon joined COMPASS in July of 2021 after aging out of his previous placement. As a requirement of AB-12, youth must be employed, enrolled in school, or actively working towards one of those goals. After struggling to graduate high school given the virtual environment, Brandon chose to obtain employment at Walmart working in the back of the store. While he enjoyed the position, Brandon lacked adequate transportation and had to take three buses to get to work.

After deciding that Walmart was not the right fit, Brandon asked COMPASS’ education and employment specialist for assistance finding a new job. Luckily for Brandon, the COMPASS Training Program works directly with Dave & Maggie’s Center, the on-campus discount store, to provide internships for these young adults to develop retail, warehouse, and customer service skills. Proceeds from the store also help to support the essential services and resources provided by COMPASS Programs.

Since the store is located on campus, Brandon found it much easier to get to work and keep up with case management and workshops at COMPASS. In the five months Brandon has been at the store, he has learned many skills like unloading boxes, organizing products, time management, and how to work with customers. Brandon excelled in his role and has been promoted to a peer coach, training new interns from the COMPASS Training Program.

In addition to the skills he is learning at the store, Brandon attends the COMPASS Training Program workshops weekly. The workshops are hosted by the education and employment specialist and cover topics like making a resume, how to dress appropriately, interview skills, and more that can be used throughout their lives and careers.

On top of the assistance he receives from the COMPASS Training Program, Brandon values the support from his Transitional Social Worker, Frankie. When he came to COMPASS, his old placement had lost his birth certificate and social security card, an unfortunate reality for many young adults in foster care. Working together, Brandon and Frankie were able to apply for replacement documents, which are essential for his future employment and housing.

One of Brandon’s favorite aspects of COMPASS Programs is having access to the Drop-In Center and all the amenities offered there. You can often find Brandon watching movies on the couch with his pet chinchilla, waiting for his laundry to finish using the on-site machine. From resource fairs, to workshops, to holiday parties, Brandon is almost always in attendance making everyone laugh. Brandon is very social and has made several friends within the program with whom he spends time regularly. In the future, Brandon wants to work with people, either as a nurse or a teacher. COMPASS Programs at David & Margaret is so proud of this young man’s accomplishments and will continue to support him on his journey to independent adulthood through case management, educational and employment services, life skills, and social opportunities.  


Read the full April 2022 Newsletter 

Our Impact This Year

  • Youth & Families Served


  • Youth Internship Hours


  • Housing Provided


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