Alternatives to Military Service
Before Enlisting strives to offer young people career ideas and information about funding higher education. There are many ways to earn a living, serve your country, and fund your education goals besides signing a long, legally binding contract with the military. The resources below are geared toward youth in the San Francisco Bay Area, but several national programs are mentioned as well.
Other than the Military:
Alameda County Health Pipeline Partnership
Paid internships and training in health care jobs. Academic tutoring and one-on-one mentoring.
Young adults earn money while they engage in service work and receive training. Positions available around the country.
Berkeley Youth Alternatives
Provides support for young adults who are “at-risk” (homeless, foster care, and similar hardships) to learn job skills and get paid job experience.
Building and Construction Trades Council of Alameda County
Building Trades Apprenticeships prepare women and men for careers in construction by integrating on-the-job training with classroom instruction.
In this union-sponsored building trades apprenticeship program, men and women can become skilled in a trade, and get paid to do it - "Earn While You Learn!"
California Conservation Corps
Paid internships working outside to repair state parks, fight fires, and provide other important services. (Includes housing, meals, and medical care.)
California Employment Development Department
The website has many useful links to job training programs, internships, & job placement.
Paid internships in the East Bay for high school graduates in parks, recycling programs, construction, etc.
Hack the Hood
Under-resourced youth of color are introduced to careers in tech by hiring and training them to build websites for small businesses.
Nationwide program that places high school graduates in paid training and service programs.
Cypress Mandela Training Center offers a free, sixteen-week Pre-Apprenticeship program for Bay Area men and women over 18 years old.
Opportunity Build, Climate Careers
Opportunity Build is a 12-month construction training program in Oakland. Youth gain skills so they can enter an apprenticeship program or get a job. Climate Careers trains and employs youth in the "green economy."
Richmond Pre-Apprenticeship Program
Richmond BUILD Academy participants complete the core Carpentry Pre-Apprenticeship track before choosing
Tradeswomen, Inc. is a grassroots support organization for women who are interested in working in the skilled trades. They provide pre-apprenticeship classes for women and support in getting into an apprenticeship program.
Treasure Island Job Corp
Provides paid job training in a variety of occupations. Includes housing, meals, medical care, and a paid stipend.
YEP—Youth Employment Training Program
Paid internships and training programs, such as home construction, for low income young adults.
funding higher education:
Federal Student Aid
From the U.S. Department of Education, this site offers a wealth of resources including checklists, an explanation of types of aid and who receives it, and application forms.
Offers tools to estimate the cost of college, how to apply for financial aid, tips for parents, and advice on where to start if you are overwhelmed.
Strategies to Help Pay for College
A list of 13 tips to plan for and pay for higher education.
Intended for both first-generation and low-income students, you can create a free profile here, and gain access to a searchable database of more than $11 billion worth of scholarships.
An online mentoring platform that pairs students with a mentor who can answer questions about the college application process and scholarships. The organization says 89 percent of its users go on to attend college without taking on student loan debt.
Student Success Agency
Their mission is to provide first-time college students with help navigating how to pay for higher education. SSA says 90 percent of teens it serves get scholarships.