How First Federal Lakewood Invests in Local Young Adults and Students for a Brighter Future

Our future relies on our children. That’s why investing in the young adults and students in our communities is a crucial and essential part of our bank’s mission. Teaming up with Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U.) helped us do exactly that.

Y.O.U. is a non-profit workforce development organization that serves teens and young adults ages 14 to 24 living in economically distressed areas in northeast Ohio. The organization’s mission is to prepare these young individuals to become self-sufficient contributors to building northeast Ohio’s educated, skilled and inclusive workforce.

Our partnership began in 2019 with the goal of providing the skills young adults need to flourish in today’s everchanging world and economy. We were excited to be given the opportunity to volunteer directly with students in the JOG program (Jobs for Ohio Graduates). JOG serves approximately 770 individuals and is an in-school, evidence-based program with focus on career development, high school graduation, post-high school success, employability and leadership skills.

Providing financial education and transferrable skills was the first step to investing in these individuals. From the 2021 Youth Career Olympics to hosting resume-writing workshops, we were proud to be able to equip them with the skills they need to prosper – while having a blast at the same time!

During the First Federal Lakewood-sponsored resume-writing workshop, our community development and human resources team members spent an afternoon reviewing resumes and challenging participants to think critically about their professional experience. Another sponsored event, the Youth Career Olympics, evaluated an individual’s knowledge of general employability skills, basic math and career vocabulary all within 40 minutes. Watch the video here.

When it comes to volunteering, there’s nothing more valuable than one-on-one time. Bethany Germano, VP, charitable giving & corporate events officer, shared her positive experience volunteering with Y.O.U. over the years during April 2021’s National Volunteer Week. Watch her video to learn more about her involvement.