A new summer youth employment initiative- R.E.A.C.H (Resilient for Economic Achievement and Creating Hope) – aims to provide training opportunities in high-growth career pathways.

The free training will be offered to 20 Houstonians between the ages of 18 and 24. The classes will be filled with Opportunity Youth, young people who are not currently enrolled in school or participating in the workforce.

“This is a population that often is overlooked,” said Marvin Pierre, the executive director of Eight Million Stories’ Project. “Our goal is to break generational poverty with opportunities for internships and permanent employment.”

The training will include these areas:

  • Digital Media/IT (marketing, photo/video, social media, coding, software development, audio)
  • Business Services (office administration, HR support, program/project management, financial services)
  • Distribution Logistics
  • Skilled Craft trades and
  • Healthcare (administrative support, research)

JPM0rgan Chase is supporting this program with $100,000 in grant support.

Eight Millions Stories, Inc. will work closely with public-sector partners to leverage resources, relationships for outreach and recruiting to support their summer youth initiative. The non-profit also is looking to connect with private-sector companies looking to get involved and make a difference in the lives of Houston’s Opportunity Youth.

Eight Millions Stories, Inc. client base are mostly young people of color living in Fifth Ward, Third Ward, and South Central areas in Houston.

According to a past Kinder Study, 111,000 individuals in Houston can be categorized as opportunity youth. Supporting Opportunity Youth in finding pathways to success can be a complex challenge. They lack the exposure and equitable opportunities to transition into career pathways.

“There is a critical need for our community to come together and provide a pathway of opportunity for these young people,” said Dorian  Cockrell, head of philanthropy for JPMorgan Chase in Houston.

Eight Millions Stories, Inc. provides interns with a deeper understanding of how earnings and opportunities can increase as they develop their skills. Employers gain a deeper understanding of how to best work with disconnected youth and create opportunities and support systems that set them up for success in their workplace.

“The result will be a better educated and skilled talent pool able to land good-paying jobs right here in Houston,” Cockrell said.