Croix is the Education and Employment Manager here at Reconcile. He organizes employment partnerships and leads job readiness classes for students.
How do you see the impact of your work in the families you serve?
“For some of these youth, this is their first time ever completing something. So graduation is a big step for them. It may not be as big a production as a high school or college graduation, but it means a lot to them in their hearts. And when you see their families clapping and cheering for them, hearing their name called, it means a lot.”
What happens when young people leave or graduate from the program?
“Once our young folks leave Café Reconcile, we try to maintain a long relationship with them….Check with their jobs, do random stops at their jobs, build relationships with their managers, make sure to see if there’s anything we can help them with. If they need a job at that time we also help them with resume building, cover letters, like we do when they’re students in the program…. We provide all these services regardless. Once you come to Reconcile, whether you finish or not, you can always come back and we will provide those services so long as this building is standing. “
Is there anything else in particular that you would like us to know about Café Reconcile?
“A lot of times the misconception is that the youth that we work with are only youth that are violent offenders or who have some type of criminal background, and that’s not the case. Most of the youth that come through here just have barriers that all of us have maybe faced at one time, just in different scenarios. [S]ome of it could be the support system wasn’t strong at home, some of it could be that they had a traumatic situation happen to them, and some of them could be just looking for a different path in life and everything they’ve tried so far hasn’t worked.”
Best thing on the menu?
Stuffed Bell Peppers.