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STL Youth Jobs

3 Employees | 4 Years

Bridging the divide between our region’s youth and the growing skills gap in our workforce. STL Youth Jobs envisions a city where St. Louis youth have the opportunity they need to succeed and St. Louis businesses have the workforce they require to compete.

Mission Statement

The Dana Brown Charitable Trust supports STL Youth Jobs’ 8-week summer employment program for youth, ages 16-24, who live in St. Louis’ most vulnerable areas. Youth from these targeted high risk areas — high rates of youth unemployment, juvenile crime, and poverty — are connected to a combination of place-based and corporate employment opportunities within the region. In addition to paid employment experience, every participating youth receives an individualized career assessment, financial literacy and job readiness training, access to a free and safe bank account and continuing career support.


Dana Brown Charitable Trust helped ensure that more of St. Louis’ disadvantaged youth were connected to a meaningful summer employment experience. As a result of generous supporters like the Dana Brown Charitable Trust, STL Youth Jobs is able to have many positive outcomes on youth. Including:

Connecting Youth to First Time Work Experience & Increasing Employment Access

  • In 2015, STL Youth Jobs provided first time work experience for 49% of the youth participants
  • 77% of youth reported they would not have had summer employment without STL Youth Jobs

Skill Development & Improved Work Performance

  • Youth showed statistically significant increases from “pre” to “post” in critical jobs skills such as decision-making, critical thinking and communication, when employers rated their work performance at the beginning and end of the 2015 program
  • 90% of youth reported learning critical skills they can use on other jobs or to get future jobs
  • 96% of youth felt they would be better workers in future jobs after this program
  • 92% of youth felt better prepared to look for a job after participation in STL Youth Jobs
  • 78% of STL Youth Jobs employers would recommend youth and provide a positive reference for employment.

Better Money Habits & Financially Empowering Youth

  • 95% of youth were “banked” (increased from 47% before the program to 95% after participation)
  • 99% of youth enrolled in direct deposit avoiding check cashing fees and helping youth keep more of their money
  • 76% of youth reporting they had saved some of the money they earned during the summer; of these, 64% saved up to $300; 30% saved from $301 to $700, 6% saved more than $700
  • 62% reported staying within their budgets/spending plans during the summer