THE NEED: Hey Coach, Where Can I Get a Job?
That was the question Founder, CEO and President Joe Eriquez would consistently hear our kids in the sports program ask. So, Joe came up with a vision of a youth job skill center. And the first Java Grounds was born.
In cooperation with local schools, Heart for the City, reaches out to young people whose futures appear to be in doubt.
Java Grounds is our coffee house and cafe. In cooperation with local schools, Heart for the City, reaches out to young people whose futures appear to be in doubt. HFTC staff and volunteers come alongside these young people to help them learn the life skills that they will need to find the success that would otherwise elude them. They become mentors and friends.
Real-life, on-the-job training.
Our teens are learning responsibility, social skills, and a strong work ethic. We teach them about every aspect of the business from customer service to handling money. In a world where adults claim that the younger generation lacks relationship skills, our kids learn how to interact with adults in a proper, business-like manner.Java Grounds is like the minor league preparation for these kids’ futures in the major league world of employment. Through our association with other area businesses, once our young people have completed their training at Java Grounds, we launch them out into the real world with jobs at other local establishments.
© Copyright. All Rights Reserved
As a contractor in Iraq, Nick’s dad was gone for every one of his birthdays for 12 years! So when Nick met Joe Eriquez and Mike Chavez in sixth grade-- they became positive male role models for Nick. They convinced Nick to become one of our first players in HFTC football!
Nick has moved through HFTC programs and is now a team member at Java Grounds—our workforce development center.
But, the highlight to the HFTC staff was when Nick RETURNED to the HFTC football program—but, this time as a volunteer referee. Seeing our HFTC boys come back and become the positive mentors for the next generation makes all of our work and sacrifice worth it.
And as for Nick, he just wishes other kids could get a chance to experience HFTC as “…a place of comfort where you can let your guard down. A place where no matter what your skin color is, your gender, or what your family situation may be, that you belong. You are loved regardless.” What a testimony to the HFTC team!