Our partnership with local restaurant chain Pagliacci Pizza has helped our youth learn new cooking techniques, explore job opportunities, and build community in our Columbia City neighborhood.
Over the summer, Pagliacci Pizza provided $50 gift cards to mentors to enjoy delicious meals with their youth during outings. This community partner also hosted an outing: Friends–Seattle youth, alumni, and their mentors attended a pizza tossing party and learned from Pagliacci staff how to create pizzas from scratch.
The event opened an employment opportunity for one of our alumni, Jaylen. Jaylen was paired with his professional mentor, Stef, for 12 years and graduated from the Friends–Seattle program in 2021. He connected with the manager and a few other Pagliacci staff, interviewed, and landed the job!
“It was a blast showing these kids how to work with some dough. I’m excited this also led to some job opportunities,” said Jon Obrycki, the general manager of Pagliacci’s Columbia City store.
Jaylen loves his position at Pagliacci. “I feel like everybody there wants me to succeed. I never would’ve found this opportunity without Stef,” he said.
Looking ahead, the company is also willing to help our youth prepare for employment opportunities by practicing interview skills and filling out applications. We are thrilled this community partnership will continue to provide our youth with meaningful experiences during their time in our program and as they plan for their future.