PCF Sponsors Internships for Former Foster Youth

A black and white sign with a stylized rose reads Rosebud Coffee. It appears to be hung outdoors in a tree.

Last fall, Pasadena Community Foundation was presented with a unique opportunity to expand its support for Transitional Age Youth (TAY). Coffee with a Cause, a Pasadena-based nonprofit social enterprise that assists TAY, requested funding to enroll three young adults in its paid internship program that helps youth secure stable, long-term employment. Recognizing the impact of this program, PCF was happy to sponsor three interns.

Rosebud Coffee, a bustling café in east Pasadena, serves as home for Coffee with a Cause and employees several participating interns each year. Dan Davidson, Coffee with a Cause’s Executive Director, has a long history of working with TAY and knows that one of the biggest gaps in services for TAY is job training and gainful employment opportunities. PCF first supported Coffee with a Cause in the fall of 2022, when a Capital Grant helped the organization purchase much-needed equipment to help expand the training program and serve additional youth. Watch a video about the 2022 grant.

At the far left, a young coffeehouse employee is shown standing behind the wooden counter ready to serve a customer. At the far right, two female customers stand chatting together.
Two Coffee with a Cause interns work behind the counter (far left) at Rosebud Coffee.

Learning Soft and Hard Skills for Future Employment

The internship first provides a two-week training period in “soft skills” like customer service, hospitality, communication, teamwork, and professionalism. Once that phase is completed, interns participate in 3-6 months of paid, hands-on job training (“hard skills) at a partner Pasadena business.

The three interns that PCF has sponsored have completed their phase 1 training and have moved into paid employment. They are:

  • Jillian, who is a single mom studying psychology at Pasadena City College. She loves coffee and is eager to learn barista skills by interning at Rosebud Coffee.
  • Matthew, who is taking part in firefighter training at Rio Hondo College and enjoying his first work experience through the internship. He is interning at Revival Boutique & Thrift.
  • Angelina, who is in a Pasadena housing program for college students while attending Citrus College. She is interning at Revival Boutique & Thrift.
A photo collage shows three young people - two women and one man - posing for the camera. Their names accompany each picture, reading left to right Angelina, Matthew, Jillian.
Funding from PCF will allow these transition age foster youth to participate in Coffee with a Cause’s internship program and secure stable, long-term employment.

The supportive scaffolding provided by Coffee with a Cause’s staff is vital to the internship program. Staff check in regularly with all interns and are always available to navigate any questions or concerns. Furthermore, each intern gets paired with a volunteer mentor for a full calendar year to receive guidance in job searching, job retention, and life skills. “This active support system creates a safe space for the youth to make mistakes, fail, and grow in the experience,” says Davidson.

Visit Coffee with a Cause’s website to learn more about the organization.