Columbia Parks and Recreation
Creating Community through People, Parks and Programs
Located in the Armory Sports Center
701 East Ash, 2nd floor
Columbia, MO 65201
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"Investing in our Youth, Investing in our Future"
What is CARE?
The City of Columbia’s Career Awareness Related Experience (CARE) program’s goal is for Columbia’s youth to be ready to enter the workforce and become productive, self-sufficient citizens. Since 1982, the CARE program has provided comprehensive services for Columbia’s at-risk youth that include:
High-risk teenagers face many barriers to joining the labor force, especially in Columbia, MO because of substantial competition from thousands of college students for the available entry-level jobs. Lack of job readiness skills, employment experience, positive adult role models, career exposure, and life skills training can lead to adolescents being unemployed and/or underemployed, which can lead to increased:
CARE's HistoryA particularly stressful summer of youth violence and unrest in Columbia’s central city, a high level of youth unemployment, and the untimely reduction in Federal youth employment programs compelled a group of community leaders to meet during the summer of 1981 to form a steering committee. Their goal was to learn about the violence and employment challenges facing the youth of Columbia and to make recommendations regarding what to do about it.
In 1982, this steering committee established a pilot program to provide meaningful employment for 150 low-income Columbia youth, ages 14 to 20. This program was initially funded by an appropriation from the City Council and a grant received from the Columbia Board of Education. The Columbia Parks and Recreation Department provided the facilities and staff to administer the program, which was named CARE, an acronym for Career Awareness Related Experience.
The CARE program was created because of the vision and efforts of this steering committee, which included several longtime Columbia Parks and Recreation employees, including the late Wynna Faye Elbert. CARE began over 30 years ago for the same reason it is still needed today, which is for Columbia’s youth to be ready to enter the workforce and become productive, self-sufficient citizens.
How Does It All Work?CARE depends on partnerships with area companies (work site partners) to provide the work sites and the real-world hands-on work experiences for its trainees; however, 100% of the trainees’ wages are paid by CARE. There is zero financial cost to the work site partners.
Work site partners are investing in our future by investing in our youth, while at the same time receiving free labor. The youth trainees gain valuable employment experience and life skills while earning a paycheck. CARE is a win-win-win situation for the trainees, the work site partners, and the Columbia community as a whole.
Want to Make a Difference While Getting Free Labor?For more information on how your company can make a difference and get free help, contact Ron Schmidt at firstname.lastname@example.org or (573) 874-6377.
CARE Traditional Summer Program*
CARE’s Summer Program is its original and largest program. CARE offers an eight-week program in which approximately 155 14- to 20-year-old trainees are hired at minimum wage to work up to 20 hours per week at a variety of local work sites. Interested youth may apply online at https://www.gocomojobs.com/postings/search from January 1 to February 5 (search for CARE Summer Trainee).
CARE Art Gallery (Summer)*
The CARE Art Gallery, which began in 2000, serves as a visual arts work site for the CARE program. Approximately 15 creative youth are given the opportunity to work as paid artists (minimum wage) for eight weeks. Art Gallery trainees work with and learn from professional artists. They participate in art activities designed to enhance their existing skills and knowledge. Art Gallery trainees learn artistic techniques in a variety of media, and create their own artwork. Interested youth may apply online at https://www.gocomojobs.com/postings/search from February 6 to March 16 (search for CARE Art Gallery Summer Trainee).
The Art Gallery is funded in part by the Missouri Arts Council and the City’s Office of Cultural Affairs.
Camp Salsa (Summer)*Camp Salsa is also an 8-week summer program. It is a collaborative academic/employment effort between the CARE program, MU Family Impact Center, Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture, and Columbia Public Schools. Camp Salsa began in 2015.
Camp Salsa provides opportunities for about 15 local high school students to work from beginning to end on a project to foster skills that can be transferred into the workforce. The main components of the Camp Salsa experience are:
Completed applications are due to the Family Impact Center (105 E Ash Street, Suite 200, Columbia, MO 65203) or email@example.com by at least April 15, 2016. For more information, please contact Sara Hughes at (573) 882-2428 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Youth may only participate in one CARE summer program each year (either the traditional summer program, art gallery, or camp salsa)
Important 2016 Summer Dates
Boone County Family Resources’ mission is to enable Boone County residents with developmental disabilities to thrive in the community, connect with others, and achieve their personal goals. Since 2009, CARE has partnered with BCFR to provide real-world hands-on experience, mentoring, life skills training, resources for educational pursuits, resume building assistance, and individualized goal setting guidance for clients who have developmental disabilities and are at risk for unemployment and underemployment.
Participants in this program also receive specialized support at the work site. Trainees may work up to 10 hours per week (up to 20 hours per week during the summer) and earn minimum wage. Just like the Summer Program, CARE places these youth at a variety of area work sites. Clients must be referred to the CARE program by BCFR, which provides much of the funding for the program.
School Year ProgramsCARE’s school year programs include its:
2015 Summer Work Site Partners
Special thanks to our 2015 work site partners for their participation. Without them, the CARE program simply would not exist.
|A Cut Above the Rest||Columbia Jazzercise Center||Nanny's Neighborhood Childcare Center|
|A Discovery Zone||Columbia Mall||New York Deli|
|A Good Start Daycare||Columbia Pet Center||Nora Stewart Early Learning Center|
|A Step Above||
|ParentLink, University of Missouri|
|A World of Discoveries||CoMo Smoke and Fire||ParkSide SkateShop|
|Academy of Early Childhood Learning-South||Cuts Limited Hair Styling||Phoenix Health Programs|
|Access Arts (School of Service Inc)||Cynergy Health||Play It Again Sports|
|All Dogs and Cats||Daniel Boone Regional Library||Pro Kutz|
|Arris' Pizza||Diggit Graphics||Quantum Wireless and Internet|
|Atkins Building Services and Products Inc||Donut D-Light||Ranch House BBQ|
|Battle High School||Douglass High School||Roto-Rooter|
|Beauty and Beyond Salon||Fashions by Anna Linzie||Shakespeare's Pizza South|
|Bob McCosh Chevrolet||For His Glory Inc.||
Shakespeare's Pizza West
|Big Brothers Big Sisters||Fun City Youth Academy||Shalom Christian Academy and Daycare|
|Bob McCosh Chevrolet||G&D Pizzaria||Soccer Pro|
|Boy Scouts of America, Great Rivers Council||Gaines Detailing||Ste. 157 Law Offices|
|Boys & Girls Club of Columbia||Going Bonkers||Superior Detailing|
|Brock's Auto Body||Harmony's Treasure Box||Sylvan Learning Center|
|Camp Salsa||Head Motor Company||The Salvation Army|
|Carlito's Cabo||Hickman High School||The School House Daycare|
|Cedar Creek Therapeutic Riding Center||Jimmy's Family Steakhouse||Tiger Tinting and More|
|Centro Latino||Job Finders||Turn the Page Child Development Center|
|Child Learning and Development Center||JT's Cutz||U Knead Sweets|
|City of Columbia Document Support Center||Keene Dental Care||UCP Child Development Center|
|City of Columbia Parks and Recreation-ARC (office and facility)||Key Largo Fitness||University of Missouri Law Library|
|City of Columbia Parks and Recreation- ARC Aquatics||Lakewood Home and Garden Showplace||University of Missouri School of Social Work|
|City of Columbia Parks and Recreation Sports Turf||Latter House Childcare Center||US Fish and Wildlife Service, Columbia office|
|City of Columbia Parks and Recreation STARS camp||Makes Scents||USDA Agricultural Research Service--Biological Control of Insects Research Laboratory|
|City of Columbia Stormwater Utility||Mary Lee Johnston Community Learning Center||Value Giant Thriftshop|
|Columbia Boone County WIC Program||Maude Vintage Clothing and Costumes||Varsity Clips|
|Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture||Moving Ahead Program||Woodhaven|
|Columbia Chamber of Commerce||Ms. Kim's Fish and Chicken Shack||Youth Empowerment Zone|
|Columbia Daily Tribune||MU Health Care||Youth Empowerment Zone/King's Kids|