When you are aging out of foster care, it can be really hard to find a job. Especially your FIRST job. The Nu-2-U Store was created out of a need for Mountain Circle’s foster youth, ages 16-18 years of age, and our Transitional Housing Plus youth, ages 19-24, to obtain employment. The Nu-2-U Thrift Store was specifically designed to teach foster youth successful working habits, which means supporting the youth until their emotional and behavioral overlays match healthy work skills and habits. This means daily life-skills coaching by a skilled mentor, and training in the areas of point-of-sale cash registers, inventory, and customer service.
This is referred to as a Supportive Employment Environment.
To meet the needs of our youth, a quality thrift store was opened on September 15, 2009 as Nu-2-U! The environment is customer-friendly, and filled with quality products at low prices. Here at Mountain Circle, we know that developing employment skills requires a great deal more than simply showing young people how to apply for a job; we teach them the character and skills needed to keep a job and become healthy and self-sufficient adults! Our teens receive on-site vocational training, 24/7 access to a loving Social Worker, AND a real paycheck.
At the core of the Nu-2-U Program is the Store Manager. In November of 2016, after 7 very successful years, Mountain Circle’s beloved founding employee Edie moved into retirement. We knew it would not be easy to fill her position! The Store Manager must have a deep understanding of the business, thrifting, marketing, and most importantly- a patience and joy for working with foster youth.
I love working at thrift stores. Whenever my husband and I travel, we stop at thrift stores on the way so I can look for ideas and bargains. If we were going to stay in one place for a while, I would go to local non-profit thrift stores and volunteer while he was out scuba diving or riding quads with his friends. I volunteered for another thrift store for about 10 years.I started with Nu-2-U this past summer. I started there because I wanted to work with the foster youth. My husband and I have been foster parents with Mountain Circle for a few years, and I wanted to get to know some of the older youth with the agency. Shortly after I began volunteering, the manager Edie announced her retirement. I was interested in the position and felt I could make a difference. I prayed about it and told my husband if this one thing happened I would apply for the job. It happened, and I interviewed. A little about me: I have lived in Lassen County since the 70’s. I worked at Lassen College for 23 years and retired about three years ago. My husband Jerry is my biggest supporter. He always comes along side of me in my endeavors, and has already helped me with some maintenance issues and improvements in the store. I couldn’t do it without him! We have 5 grown children , 14 grandchildren, two Newfoundlands and two Pomeranians.
One of the things I enjoy most about working at Nu-2-U is getting to know our volunteers, our youth, and our customers. We have a lot of regulars who visit the store frequently, and it has been fun getting to know them. I also enjoy the many challenges that seem to pop up every day 🙂 The biggest challenge currently is trying to use the store to its fullest potential without making it looked overstocked, and also keeping it safe and clean. Changes have been made, with more to come, that will hopefully get merchandise up off the floor and displayed at eye level. I love it when people come into our store and comment how nice it looks and how good it smells.
Stop by the store and say hi, check it out, say hello to our youth, and don’t forget to rate us on Yelp 🙂
Susanville, CAStore HoursMonday-Saturday, 10:00 a.m-5:00 p.m