Many of our guys enter our residential care program with street smarts but not “real world” smarts. They lack certain skills that many of us take for granted…everything from how to do laundry to how to act in the workplace. To better help our students succeed in the post-high school workplace, we started our Work Experience program – another program funded by car donations.

Rawhide’s work experience program is open to any of our students who have shown responsibility and are eager to learn. Students may choose from five work ares:

  • Vehicle Program
  • Café
  • Facilities
  • Administration
  • Stables

The Process

Before the student starts work in any of these areas, they need to apply for the position. To be able to apply for a position on the grounds, the student must gain privileges and show growth in the areas of respect and responsibility. They fill out an application, submit a resume, and go through the interview process before they can be hired for the job.

Café Work Experience Program

Each guy has different reasons why he likes to work in one area more than another. While the vehicle programs’ auto shop is popular with many of our guys, Vince* likes working for food service in our Frontier Café.

Vince came to Rawhide about six months ago and is in our residential program. He has been working in the café for the past four months. He works for three hours and attends school in the afternoons. One of Vince’s job duties includes preparing and baking deserts from scratch, washing dishes, and cleaning his work area. Vince likes working in the café because he enjoys baking, plus taste-tests most everything he makes. He especially likes to make cheesecake from scratch. His job trainer, Miss Julie, is another reason he likes working in the café. Miss Julie keeps Vince on task and shows him the basics of baking.

Rawhide Cafe 15

While Vince is crafting a delectable sweet, he and Miss Julie talk about things that are important to him, mainly his life after Rawhide. He likes to talk about the college he will attend and what he wants to do with his life. Working in the café has taught Vince patience and how to follow direction– skills he can take with him. Vince looks forward to showing off his new found cooking skills to his friends and family, and exploring related career options.

Who knew baking could help influence life choices? We teach our students the importance of  respect, self-control, and responsibility. Guys like Vince put them to good use to create their own recipe for success.

To learn how you can help guys like Vince, please visit our donation page.


*Name has been changed to protect privacy