IR Sheriff Deputy Ella Goodman

Deputy Ella Goodman, IR Sheriff’s Office, spoke to the Hibiscus youth at a Career Pathways Workshop promoting keeping teens on track for a strong future.

Hibiscus Children’s Center Seeks Local Business Support for Career Pathways to Independence Program

Vero Beach, FL  — If you are a local business in Vero Beach, you can help improve the lives of abused youth and give them a brighter future.  Hibiscus Children’s Center invites you to partner with our Career Pathways to Independence Program, a youth skill development and career preparation training program located at the Hibiscus Village.  All youth attend seminars on a variety of career and independent living topics and are provided the opportunity to participate in various work experiences including job shadowing, internship and/or part-time employment.  We are looking for local businesses to provide internships to our youth, ages 15-17 year-old. Through local grants, Hibiscus Children’s Center is able to provide the youth a small stipend for their time as interns.  Community business partners provide internships for our youth at local sub shops, cleaners, pet stores, and more.  Other career choices or fields of interest shared by our youth include athletics, cosmetology, counseling, engineering, fashion, forensics, finance, law, medical, performing arts and various trades.

Career Pathways was launched in 2011 through a generous Indian River Impact 100 grant.  The program helps alleviate some of the stresses foster care youth face as they approach 18. This creative youth education program provides youth with innovative support, structure, and guidance they need to receive a high school diploma or GED and to prepare youth for independence.  The teens participate in forward-thinking career exploration, testing and assessments related to career interests, self-esteem, and work-related personality.  The workshops and seminars on completing college and job applications, resume writing and budgeting are invaluable tools to teens who have been removed from their own abusive homes and have not experienced the guidance and structure they need.   Local internships are a crucial part of this development and growth process and help build a solid foundation for the future of our youth.

Cindy, a former Village youth, shares how the Career Pathways Program has changed her life.  When Cindy was placed at the Village at 15 years old, she had been in foster care for three years and was very angry and defiant.  After a few failed foster home placements, she was placed in a mental health facility because she was diagnosed with depression, bi-polar disorder and anger disorder.  After being prescribed proper medication and getting her issues under control, she was sent to the Village and immediately, began to flourish.  She obtained her GED diploma and then college followed, with the hopes of obtaining a nursing degree. This resilient teen said, “Hibiscus was the perfect fit for me, it provided me freedom and structure. Career Pathways has helped me fill out job applications, obtain and keep a job, complete a resume’ and have confidence in job interviews.  This program has given me pride and the motivation to work. I like helping people.” Cindy shared that she is grateful for her time at Hibiscus and couldn’t imagine not being part of the Career Pathways Program.

For more information, please contact Frank Avilla, Director of Career Pathways, at or 772-299-6011, ext. 387.