Partnership Spotlight: JUMA Ventures
Perhaps the most important opportunity a young person can be offered is the chance to make their college and career dreams a reality. For many students in the Highline School District, JUMA Ventures is doing just that.
JUMA is a local and national social enterprise whose goal is to break the cycle of poverty by helping young people attain meaningful work, a college education, and become financially savvy. JUMA believes that it is the combination of a powerful first job, much needed income, academic support, and savings for college that helps our youth aspire towards and achieve higher education and a successful career.
Through JUMA’s internship program, students gain part-time employment at concession stand businesses located at regional sports stadiums. Right now, there are around 70 youth from the Highline School District employed through JUMA, and they plan to hire another 20-30 in the coming days. These students come from all over the district, including the Tyee and Evergreen Campuses, Highline High School and Mount Rainier High School, New Start, and WELS (Waskowitz Environmental Leadership & Service). You can find our students working at CenturyLink Field, Husky Stadium, and Safeco Field, as well as WaMu Theatre.
JUMA believes that it is the combination of a powerful first job, much needed income, academic support, and savings for college that helps our youth aspire towards and achieve higher education and a successful career.Students are also taught financial literacy and offered a matched college savings account if they participate in the two-year high school program.
Most of these students are working an average of 15 hours per month, at $15/hour, and most graduate with $2,000 to $3,000 saved for college.
“We love working with [the Highline School District] because we get so much support from individual schools and at the district level”, says Ren Gooch, Program Coordinator at the JUMA Seattle office. “The College and Career Access Specialists and school counselors who we work with … are an amazing and talented group of individuals without whom we could not have achieved such a successful program.”
JUMA is a valuable partner in the Graduate!Highline movement. The program’s guidance has helped relay to our students the importance of graduating high school, as well as the belief in their own capabilities as they prepare for a future in college or career. Students come away from the program equipped with new skills, resources, and, perhaps most importantly, the confidence needed to succeed in whatever endeavor comes next, be it higher education or continuing in the workforce.
JUMA recruits once per year and the recruitment changes slightly from year to year based on feedback from previous years. Students can apply to become a JUMA participant if they are either: out of work and out of school, and between 16-24 years old; or a sophomore in high school, meet certain requirements based on income, GPA, citizenship, and first-generation college attendee. Learn more by visiting the JUMA Ventures website: www.juma.org