Since April, Million Little has been facilitating a creative mindfulness program each Wednesday at Youth Moving On’s peer resource center. This Hillsides affiliate center offers youth 16-24 free hot meals, internet access, peer groups, and individualized case management. They also help link youth with internships at local businesses after the completion of an extensive job readiness course. For youth interested in the culinary arts, Hillsides offers a 12-week program in which participating youth train under professional chefs. Several Million Little participants are currently benefiting from this program, including Ricky, 21.
Ricky’s story and experience in the program was recently featured in a local newspaper article, which you can read here. The young entrepreneur aspires to open his own vegan bakery that serves the body, soul, and mind. He told the reporter, “In this apprenticeship program, I look forward to gaining knowledge, learning how a culinary business can be run, and making lasting connections.” Those connections are a very important part of Ricky’s plan. He wants to use his future business to uplift others in the community, offering local health-conscious vendors a place to share their own tasty treats.
We have been proud to watch Ricky expand upon this vision in our program as well. Through his thoughtful actions and wise perspective on the world, we can easily picture him as the community leader he wants to become. Click here to learn more about his cafe dream, and the personal meaning behind it’s logo, pictured up top. Ricky’s poetry is also featured on Million Little Voices, which you can access here.