Youth Services is recruiting additional volunteer mentors for its youth-led enterprise, DemoGraphix, a business-to-business screen-printing company in Brattleboro, Vermont.
The employees, ages 12-24, have been instrumental in readying the business to open this month, building a strong team, selecting the name and designing a logo, training on the screen-press, established policies, a pricing structure and a marketing plan, all with the input of adult mentors, according to Emile Kornheiser, Youth Services’ director of Workforce Development.
Employees of DemoGraphix can make and sell their own designs as well as be employed by the company, Kornheiser explained. Launched earlier this year, the company employs young people in every aspect of the business— design, printing, shipping, customer service, marketing and accounting. “DemoGraphix is dedicated to delivering job skills for these young people and fostering entrepreneurship and community connections,” stated Kornheiser.
Mentors join a caring, fun team of adults who support the youth both at the screen printing shop and through one-on-one meetings. “The mentors are an integral part of the overall structure which guarantees the success of our outcomes,” said Kornheiser. “Our participants learn how to be a member of a team in a connected, supportive environment, learning from adults who are on the other side of so much of what they’re going through,” Kornheiser explained.
Youth Services asks for a commitment of four hours per month, for one year, as well as attendance at quarterly trainings. There is no one profile for a successful mentor; excellent mentors can all have different backgrounds and be different ages, confirmed Kornheiser, who suggested scheduling an initial visit or a meeting as a way to determine a good fit before formally applying. “What all our mentors share in common is an interest in working with young people and a willingness to share their expertise,” Kornheiser said.
A one-year commitment is requested from volunteer mentors; they must be at least 21 years old; provide references and pass a background check. Kornheiser stressed that DemoGraphix mentors must be dependable and consistent in the minimum commitment: attending two group meetings a month, typically from 4-6 pm on Wednesday afternoons at the Printmakers Co-op space in Brattleboro.
The description for mentors lists as desired qualities being a willing listener, patience and flexibility. Youth Services offers quarterly ongoing trainings for mentors and an optional mentor support group.
To learn more about joining DemoGraphix as a mentor, visit email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (802) 257-0361 x138. For screen printing estimates, email: email@example.com or call 802-275-7871.