Villa students learn career and life lessons through partnership with Habitat for Humanity

Villa students at ReStore

Sarah Dooley Center for Autism students with Villa and Habitat staff at the ReStore

A new partnership with Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity will help youth at St. Joseph’s Villa develop leadership and teamwork skills through real work experience. Students from the Villa’s Brook Road Academy, Dooley Center for Alternative Education, Dooley School and Sarah Dooley Center for Autism who participate in our Career and Transition Services (CATS) have joined Richmond Habitat’s ReStore work-readiness training program, where they perform jobs tailored to their abilities. As they manage inventory, stock items and clean, among other responsibilities, they have the opportunity to interact with customers and receive valuable career insights. Students will be supported, supervised and evaluated by Habitat’s management team

“Our goal is for the students to learn from constructive feedback given outside the Villa, and apply those lessons to their future careers,” said Matthew Kreydatus, Director of the Villa’s Career and Transition Services.

On top of building their resumés and business connections, Villa students are learning about community needs and the importance of contributing to those causes. The ReStore is a retail outlet offering furniture, home goods, and home improvement supplies to the public at greatly reduced prices. All proceeds generated at the ReStore support Richmond Habitat’s mission of building homes, communities and hope in the Greater Richmond area. By serving as ReStore participants, students are directly changing the lives of others.

“We are always looking for new ways to engage youth in the mission of Habitat for Humanity,” said Whitney Guthrie, Director of Community Engagement at Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity. “We are excited to embark on this new program with St. Joseph’s Villa, and hope to continue to grow this partnership for years to come.”

Students unable to work onsite at ReStore will have the opportunity to participate in Habitat projects on the Villa campus, from creating photo albums for new homebuyers to building flower boxes for Habitat homes. The Villa will also be working on an apprenticeship program in partnership with Richmond Habitat, both at the ReStore and on construction sites.

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