Teen Centers receive $20,000 grant for career development program

Family Pathways Teen Centers are looking for a few good men and women to give back to their community by helping youths get a jump on planning for their future.

Meanwhile, teen centers in North Branch, Princeton and Mora had reason to celebrate last week when Jason Bernick, of the Waite Park, Minn.-based Bernick’s company, presented a $20,000 check to those locations’ youth coordinators Friday, April 25, at the North Branch Teen Center, 6381 Main St. The grant money will go toward the centers’ Career Development Mentoring Program.

Under this free program, mentors from everyday adults to local business leaders assist young people in grades nine through 12 with identifying the skills and strengths they have and need to reach their career goals.

“We match them up, and they work the program,” said Ashley Mitchell, youth coordinator for the North Branch Teen Center.

Students who are served by the program commonly seek additional adult support, positive reinforcement and a passion to learn more about themselves and possibilities for the future. Mentors and their teen partners typically meet at least twice a month for a minimum of one year through a schedule that works for them.

All mentors receive a detailed training session related to career development and mentoring. Good candidates are those who can be a positive role model and want to help young people reach their future goals.

For more information or to apply, contact Sarah Peterson, career development coordinator, at 651-277-0098 or sarah@familypathways.org.

Bernick’s gives back

Bernick’s, a provider of leading brand beverages, vending and food solutions with seven facilities between Minnesota and Wisconsin, has been a family-run business since it opened almost 98 years ago. Jason Bernick, a fourth generation family member to work for the company, serves as director of corporate affairs.

Following the check presentation in North Branch, he said the company regularly supports youth and health-related community projects through a series of grant rounds. In the latest round, Bernick’s awarded $150,000 to nine different organizations, he noted, while 5 percent of its net profits after taxes go back to the community.

“It’s our way of giving back to the communities that support us,” Bernick said.

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