Linking Students to Careers
BUSINESS LEADERS. EDUCATORS. BRIDGE BUILDERS. YFIOB IS DEDICATED TO PROVIDING EVERY SANTA CRUZ COUNTY STUDENT WITH OPPORTUNITIES TO FORGE A PATH TO A FULFILLING AND SUCCESSFUL CAREER.
Our mission is to provide every Santa Cruz County student with opportunities to discover a fulfilling and successful career. In the modern, shifting workplace, students need to make informed decisions that empower them to forge careers. We bring schools and businesses together to support students in becoming Santa Cruz County’s next generation of workers. It’s all about providing young people clear direction in their lives.
What We Do
We provide work-based learning opportunities like expos, panels, guest speakers and more to elementary, middle, and high school students as well as internships for post-secondary students. Students get to explore a variety of career options and interact with professionals currently working in the industry. We provide real-world exposure and connect youth to adults who can assist youth with finding their path. Nothing is more valuable than hands-on experience.
Not every student has access to a network of connections, awareness of opportunities, or the resources they need. We know that young people struggle with figuring out what they want to do for their future, networking, and gaining the experience necessary to get a job and get their career started. We bridge the gap between education and the real world by exposing them to a variety of careers, introducing youth to new career sectors, and developing partnerships with educators, employers, and community members. We know that when youth can see a place for themselves in the world and have a meaningful, positive support system, they will believe in themselves, and fight for a better future for all. Our goal is to bring opportunities and programs to schools to reduce barriers such as transportation and increase access and awareness of the possibilities that exist.
Your Future Is Our Business Welcomes Yvette Lopez Brooks as new Executive Director
Effective August 1, 2021, Yvette will lead Your Future Is Our Business’ management, operations, programs, and partners in meeting the mission of the organization.
Yvette comes with over 15 years of experience in public education. She is an advocate for children and their families and has a strong track record in her commitment to public service. Yvette currently serves as the Mayor of the City of Capitola and is a wife as well as a mother of a seven-year-old. Yvette is a perfect fit to the organization’s strong track record of supporting students throughout Santa Cruz County.
“Yvette brings strong leadership skills and extensive experience with public service, education, and youth-focused programs,” said YFIOB Board President David Wright.
“She is uniquely qualified to manage the programs and relationships that will help Santa Cruz County students understand the career options available to them.”
“I am thrilled to be part of such an incredible organization. YFIOB’s work in Santa Cruz County is essential to our community’s future” said Mrs. Brooks. “I am a testament to what mentorship and advocacy can become when community leaders invest and I am so proud to continue this important work as my next career. I look forward to working with our Board, educators, students, and community partners.”
20th Annual Education/Business Luncheon Goes Virtual!
Culinary Arts Teacher Innovates Class During Pandemic
Chef Andrea Mollenauer has been a food entrepreneur in Santa Cruz County for many years. She is the owner of Lifestyle Culinary Arts catering company as well as the founder of the Food Lounge, an incubator kitchen located in downtown Santa Cruz which features a cafe, occasional pop up marketplace, music and art events, beer and wine tastings, and more.She uses this site for the Santa Cruz County Office of Education’s Career and Technical Education’s advanced culinary arts courses which she has taught for 13 years. She is also a culinary arts instructor for Cabrillo College. Through her work, Andrea has helped launch many local, artisanal food businesses such as Full Steam Dumpling. Andrea and her students prepare and serve meals at YFIOB’s Annual luncheons. In a nutshell, she is a veritable culinary icon!
At the start of the pandemic, Andrea quickly adapted her classroom by providing culinary kits consisting of a variety of essential culinary tools for her students to check out and take home. She also arranged weekly ingredient pickup locations so that students could continue to make their culinary creations safe at home.
Andrea also innovated Cabrillo College’s student run restaurant one step further by providing take out options, and recently just launched a weekly Culinary Market Box which are a unique, weekly changing selection of student made products, local produce, treats, and a suggested recipe. If you are interested in supporting Andrea’s Culinary Arts students, head to the Pino Alto Restaurant website and donate, order some delicious takeout, or purchase a Culinary Market Box!
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Here is a quick glance at our numbers on how we are making an impact to students and the community.
Commitment to Racial and Social Equity and Inclusion
Your Future Is Our Business is committed to achieving racial and social equity through diversity and strives to establish a climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for all members in our community. We value all qualities that make each individual who they are and we encourage every person to bring their unique perspective and experience to advance our mission of helping every student explore and find a career that is right for them. We are committed to partnering up with organizations in our community to pool resources and expand program offerings to underrepresented members. A diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace is one where all employees and volunteers, whatever their gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation or identity, education or disability, is seen, valued, and respected. We are committed to a nondiscriminatory approach and provide equal opportunity for employment and advancement in our organization. We commit to using these practices for our organization and holding our communities and partners to the same standard.