BILLY TAYLOR HOUSE PROGRAMS
Billy Taylor House Workforce Development and Social Enterprise program provides youth most in need the opportunity to gain valuable job skills and real earnings to help them pursue positive life choices. While in the program, participants develop healthy life skills, job readiness (soft) skills, industry specific (hard) skills and financial literacy skills that prepare them for professional and personal pursuits well beyond Billy Taylor House. The goal of this program is to help youth develop a strong work ethic and to ignite their entrepreneurial spirit. By providing paid internship opportunities to our pariticpants we are able to keep them motivated, connect them with mentors and positive role models, prevent tendencies towards violence, and increase their chances of having stable employment opportunites well into adulthood. For every young person, a job offering decent work is an important step in completing the transition to adulthood, a milestone towards independence and self-reliance. For children and young people living in poverty and in other disadvantaged situations, employment is often the main means for attaining a better life.
“To build a better world we need to replace the patchwork of lucky breaks and arbitrary advantages today that determine success--the fortunate birth dates and the happy accidents of history--with a society that provides opportunities for all.”
― Malcolm Gladwell
In order to recieve a paid internship position in one of Billy Taylor House Social Ventures participants are required to take a two month course in our "Rites of Passage" program. The foundation of this course is based upon African American History with a significant focus on the role the BROWN bothers, the Dewolf family, and RI played in the transatlantic slave trade. Rhode Island, was among the most active Northern colonies in importing slaves and and in the years after the Revolution, RI merchants controlled between 60-90 percent of the African Slave trade in America. This course also reflects back to the years immediately following with Civil War and Civil Rights Movements up until the current day and age in which Michelle Alexander has rightfuly coined the Prison Industrialization Complex in her book "The New Jim Crow." At the end of this course participants are asked to come together in break out groups and brainstorm solutions to the modern day issues we face as a segregated and separated people and to figure out how we can come together into what our newly elected Mayor, Jorge Elorza has ambitiously termed...."One Providence."
"You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life."
Rites of Passage
For Individuals who have not given serious thought to post secondary educational opportunities, the Billy Taylor House Enrichment Program provides an up-close and personal look at the advantages of attending an institute of higher learning. Many individuals from underprivleged areas are not exposed to higher educational opportunities and in many cases, are first generation students within their families to be on track to graduating from High School. This program provides participants with a clear understanding of what it is they need to do throughout their high school years to be prepared for acceptance and entry into a college of their choice. Information about admissions requirements, high school requirements, and financial aide are discussed, along with a brief discussion, question, and answer period in order to provide further clarity about the school and the process. Participant are then led on a walking tour of the campus in order to provide a visual for what College life is like and motivated towards the pursuit of higher educational opportunites as a pathway for what it is they would like to become.
"Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today."