Mountain Circle foster care teenAt Mountain Circle, we do everything possible to help prepare foster youth for their emancipation. One of our kids, Josh, has recently partnered up with the Lassen Career Network to learn about manufacturing. His advice for other foster youth? Read on…

Meet Josh G, one of Mountain Circle’s ‘Transitional Housing Program’ (THP) Youth! These are young people who are aging out of foster care and becoming more independent adults.  Josh is currently enrolled in a program through Lassen Career Network to help him find a career. The mission of the Lassen Business and Career Network –“A Workforce Development and Placement Center” — is to establish a “one-stop” employment center which will serve as a common point of access for job seekers, employers, and community members for the purpose of education, training, employment, referral, and support services. Josh spoke very highly of this program. First step? They taught him how to make a resume, and how to nail his interview skills.

Next, they matched Josh with an internship at a local business called Customer Talk. This business is a promotional product distributor. They personalize items like mugs, pens, and t-shirts for businesses or for individual sales. I went ahead and asked Josh a couple of questions about this opportunity:

1)      How did you hear about this job?

“I enrolled myself in the Lassen Career Network Program. They taught me some good work ethics to have. They then got me this temporary contract to improve my work skills. I do get paid too, which is pretty cool.”

2)      What is your job duty?

“I don’t just do this one thing here. At all. There’s a bunch of stuff that I do. I mean, we get orders, and then I make the orders, and we sell them.”

3)      How long have you been doing this internship?

“For about 3 months. June 30th is my last day here.”

4)      What valuable skills have you learned from working here?

“Tons. Time management, how to do silk screening-setting it up and printing, how to cut different types of vinyl, and measuring. Lots and lots of perfectly accurate measuring.”

5)      What exactly is vinyl?

“It’s a type of material that we use to press into shirts that gives them their design. There are different types of vinyls that you can use. Depending on the vinyl that you used, it can be easy or hard. And it normally takes about 10 minutes to finish. Maybe even 20 if it’s a big or intricate design.”

6)      What has been the most difficult part of this job?

“Lining up the screens so that they are exactly how they should be on the shirts.”

7)      Is this something that you would want to start?

“Yeah, possibly. I’m not really a career type guy but I definitely wouldn’t mind having a full-time position here.”

8)      Are there skills that you have learned that you could then take and use in your everyday life?

“Measuring! So much measuring. I’m pretty good at it now.”


Not only has Josh been working at Customer Talk, but he is also employed at our Nu 2 u Thrift Store. Every Saturday, Josh comes into work, and he is always on time. He has never been late. He will be getting regular hours at the Thrift Store starting in July. We asked Edie, our store manager, a few questions about Josh and how his work ethic is at the thrift store:

1)      What skills do you believe that Josh has?Mountain Circle foster youith

“He is such a great kid. He is ALWAYS on time. Follows orders very well, completes every task he is supposed to do without hesitation, very nice to all customers and staff, and pays attention. You can always count on him to do his work and to do it nicely.”

2)      Have you noticed any changes from when Josh first was employed here to now?

“Oh yes! He is just so nice to everyone here. He wasn’t very open at first, and now he is able to talk about what is going on in his head. He has built a trusting bond between Jody and I. He even comes in on his lunches when he’s working at Customer Talk just to say “Hi” to Jody.

Edie was very impressed with Josh’s work ethic and is very happy to have him employed at the thrift store. She even said, “If he was on a scale from 1-10, he would definitely be an 11.” Even Sebastian, another THP Youth who is employed at the Thrift store, said, “Josh is a really respectful guy. He’s easy to work with. He’ll work whenever you ask him to. And he’s just really nice.”

And lastly, Josh had one last thing to say about his experience and other THP Youth:

“Don’t be lazy! Start working so you can get a head start in life. I would love for all the THP Youth to join Lassen Career network so that they can get their lives back on track. Who knows, they may even find a long term career from a job match that the Career Network places them in. You never know but it is really really worth a shot.”

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!