As unemployment and economic uncertainty continue to surge in America, the need for job opportunities for youth becomes more and more obligatory.
This week, the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) and Slutty Vegan founder Pinky Cole have announced a joint venture to offer employment and higher education opportunities to current or former juvenile offenders, Rolling Out reports.
The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice and Cole’s partnership stems from the Pinky Cole Foundation, which will work to empower youth “financially, educationally, and through entrepreneurship,” according to Rolling Out.
Through this initiative, the Pinky Cole foundation has pledged to hire, offer paid training, and a ServSafe certification for 30 current or former DJJ youth at Slutty Vegan restaurants and food trucks in the Metro-Atlanta area, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Additionally, AJC reports the foundation will also offer $10,000 in scholarship funds annually to juvenile offenders employed at the restaurants and who have also earned either a high school diploma or GED to pay for higher education.
According to AJC, The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice Commissioner, Tyrone Oliver, believes this new partnership will strengthen the efforts of the F.R.E.S.H. (Focusing Resources Effectively to Sustain Hope) Start initiative.
“I am excited about this new partnership that will strengthen our efforts to provide job-related services for our youth once released from our custody,” said Oliver. “The Pinky Cole Foundation is giving these young people a better opportunity to succeed in life and be productive workers in their community.”
Cole shared her same sentiments as she’s equally excited to spark a change in the community for youth who need a helping hand.
“Being able to partner with the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice to help kids in our community is what we are about at Slutty Vegan and the Pinky Cole Foundation,” said Cole. “I am thankful for the leadership of Commissioner Oliver for thinking outside of the box to ensure Georgia youth are given the tools necessary to thrive. We are excited about this partnership!”