Nonprofit Spotlight: Urban Corps of San Diego County

This month, PBO Advisory Group turns our nonprofit spotlight on our client Urban Corps of San Diego County. If you know a young adult, age 18 to 26, who is looking for direction and purpose in life, Urban Corps is a wonderful opportunity. With a focus on developing life and career skills while getting paid and receiving a high school diploma, Urban Corps is actively looking for candidates for its unique program.

Annually, approximately 70 students complete the program, which focuses on learning, earning, and conserving. One day a week, the students attend classes toward their high school diploma. The other four days, the students work at minimum wage jobs in various areas, including environmental and habitat management services, construction and green build, recycling, and community improvement. This program allows the participants to finish high school while earning a paycheck, learning real-world job skills, and giving back to the community through professional services.

The students – or corpsmembers – are a diverse group of young adults. Some dropped out of high school due to gangs or drugs, becoming young parents, or an undiagnosed learning disability. Some are refugees with limited English. Others have aged out of the foster care system without a diploma. A growing number are unhoused.

The program includes wrap around services such as counseling, workshops, case management, and one-on-one assistance with resumes, job and college applications, and job placement. Graduates of the program are not only more employable, they also have the skills and confidence to succeed in the workforce. On average, 90 percent of the graduates following commencement are either placed in jobs or are enrolled in higher education.

Weekly, Urban Corps holds info sessions about how to become a student corpsmember. The program is completely free of change, with no enrollment fee. Walk-ins are welcome. Learn more here.

“We reform lives and build foundations for future success,” says Marissa Cassani, senior program director of Urban Corps. For nine years, she has been involved in the leadership, administration, and management of the organization. For her outstanding community services, Marissa has been honored by California Secretary of State Dr. Shirley Weber.

It was Marissa who hired PBO Advisory, and we are so proud that she did. When the organization was without an HR manager, Marissa reached out and we were eager to help. Our HR team was able to work onsite to provide services, training, and tools.

Urban Corps relies on donations, with $.87 of every dollar given directly benefitting the students. Employers are also encouraged to contact Urban Corps about hiring its talented students and graduates. The staff will work with you to pre-screen candidates and provide an entire year of follow-up support.

It is PBO Advisory’s honor to work with such a fine nonprofit truly making a difference in the lives of our youth.