Ayu’s Story: How she learned to show up with the support of FareStart’s online youth training program

January 24, 2023

In 2021, Ayu (she/her) was introduced to FareStart by a former graduate who gave her information on the program. Ayu was intrigued by the opportunities; she was hungry for change in her life and excited to gain knowledge about work possibilities out in the world. The FareStart graduate expressed how beneficial this program had been for her and believed Ayu would have a similar experience. Ayu enrolled in the Barista & Customer Service Program through the Education Advancement Pathway, which partners with Seattle Public Schools to teach young people job skills and encourage personal empowerment while going to high school.

Ayu says she has struggled in the past with showing up for herself because of personal obstacles, so this is one of the reasons she decided to devote herself to the program. Ayu did not realize that she’d learn so much more than just job skills; she really enjoyed studying labor laws and writing resumes as well. And Ayu appreciated the consistency that the program brought to her life as well as the focus on building community and respect. She learned how to be dedicated and how to show up for herself and for others.

Ayu is currently living with her parents and is carving out her future. A few of her goals include moving out and being independent. She is currently making moves to work at either Trader Joe's or Dick's Drive-In, both great workplaces with great opportunities. When asked what advice Ayu has for FareStart’s future students, she says “It’s important to be consistent with your classes and show up, because if you don’t, a lot can go wrong, and you might lose your opportunity.”