Grays Harbor Youth Works was founded in 2010 with the help of community residents concerned with the well-being of the youth in Grays Harbor County.

We operate specifically for the purpose of providing 15-19 year-old high school students with a small $300 scholarship, and if they so choose, a half or full school credit. These internships offer the student with 20% job shadowing and 80% hands-on experience in the business and nonprofit sectors. The student is also advised and evaluated by a mentor at the business host site.

35% of the students in the program are offered permanent part-time jobs and 30% of the students are offered summer jobs. 20% of the juniors in the program are asked to repeat the program in their senior year.

We’ve grown to work with nine school districts, and we’ve seen a 45% increase in the number of participating businesses, nonprofits, and public-sector organizations. A new summer program launched that focused on Special Education students. Two new high schools joined GHYW: Ocosta in Westport and Gravity in Hoquiam.

Our goals are to (1) increase the number of students’ entry into higher learning, (2) teach soft skills critical for gaining and maintaining employment, and (3) maintain the grade point average of 2.0 – 4.0.