Mixing jam at Quince & Apple

Quince and Apple moves to Main Street Industries

Andy Miller Business Incubators Leave a Comment

“Quince and Apple has been so lucky to be part of the Common Wealth family. Starting our business at the Madison Enterprise Center, we were able to pay very affordable rent and incrementally increase our space in line with our growth. When we graduated from MEC, we were lucky enough to find the perfect space at Main Street Industries and we are so happy to be here. Common Wealth is hugely important to our community and provides awesome support for small businesses to start up.”

Clare Stoner Fehsenfeld, Quince & Apple

Read more about Quince and Apple’s move.

Mock interview at Madison West High School, a component of the 3 week training program provided to 135 youth annually by Common Wealth.

Youth Programs Volunteer Opportunities

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Common Wealth is looking for volunteers in the following areas. Please contact Rachel Darken, Youth Programs Director, at 608.256.3527 x18 or Rachel@cwd.org if you have any questions or would like to get involved!

Mock Interviews

Common Wealth conducts several sessions of our Youth-Business Mentoring Program and our Employment Workshops during the year in which we teach students the basics of looking for a job, applying and interviewing successfully, problem solving on the job, and successful financial management. For each of these, we arrange for volunteers from the community to come in and interview our students. Mock interviewers act as managers, supervisors, and owners of businesses and interview students, one at a time, as if the student was actually interviewing for a job. They then get a chance to provide feedback on how the student did. Volunteers provide the most important elements of this exercise! The students learn to conduct themselves in a mature manner with an adult they have never met, and they learn to think and perform in the face of anxiety. They also learn from the valuable feedback volunteers provide them.

When you sign up to be a mock interviewer at one of our events, you can expect to commit about an hour and a half of your time, unless notified otherwise. All volunteers get a brief orientation when they arrive, and interview questions and rating sheets are provided.

Graduation Speakers

At the conclusion of the three-week training of our Youth-Business Mentoring Program, we hold a graduation for our participants. This is a chance for them to celebrate their accomplishments and prepare for the next phase of the program: being placed in a job. The celebration is even more meaningful when a community volunteer can come speak and congratulate the youth. Volunteer speakers can share their own experience when they first got a job, how it impacted their career decisions, and provide advice and words of encouragement as the youth prepare to take this step into the adult world. Volunteers usually speak for 5 to 10 minutes, and then lead our certificate ceremony.

2014 Youth Program Annual Review

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In its 24th year, Common Wealth’s Youth Program was successful in its goal to provide disadvantaged youth in the Greater Madison community with employment and financial education, job placements, and mentoring. We served 135 teens in our Youth-Business Mentoring Program, and another 129 youth in our Employment and Financial Education Workshops.

  • 94% of our Youth-Business Mentoring Program participants were students of color
  • 96% came from low-income households
  • 69 % lived in challenged neighborhoods
  • 109 teens were placed in jobs with local businesses

Read more about what we accomplished in our 2014 Annual Review by clicking the link below!

2014 Youth Program Annual Review

Amy Crowe, Summit Credit Union

Amy Crowe – A True Backyard Hero!

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Common Wealth’s Youth Programs is proud to recognize Amy Crowe as our Backyard Hero through the Community Shares of Wisconsin.

Common Wealth’s Youth Programs is proud to recognize Amy Crowe as our Backyard Hero through the Community Shares of Wisconsin.

Amy Crowe is a Financial Education Specialist, CUDE with Summit Credit Union. As a volunteer for Common Wealth’s Youth Programs since 2009, Amy Crowe shared her financial knowledge to help develop a financial education curriculum. She also coordinates field trips to Summit Credit Union for students in the Youth-Business Mentoring Program. Amy’s genuine joy in helping others take control of their financial futures is invaluable to the youth she serves. We are eternally grateful for Amy’s dedication to our Youth Programs!

Community CHIP tabling, July 2014

Thank You Community CHIP!

Andy Miller Community Shares of Wisconsin, Support, Youth Programs Leave a Comment

If you shop at the Willy Street Co-op, you’re probably familiar with the Community CHIP program. Community CHIP is a fundraising partnership between Willy Street Co-op and Community Shares of Wisconsin, allowing co-op shoppers to “chip” in 1% of their total purchase to be donated to the nonprofit member organizations of Community Shares of Wisconsin.

Common Wealth is lucky enough to be a member of Community Shares of Wisconsin, meaning that every time you say “Yes!” when asked to chip at the Co-op, your donation is supporting our award-winning Youth Programs!

At the Willy Street Co-op’s Annual Meeting and Party on July 10, 2014 – and the kickoff to La Fete de Marquette – Common Wealth’s Youth Programs helped represent the Community CHIP program to educate owners about what their gracious donations support. We were also able to spread the word about our upcoming Youth-Business Mentoring Program trainings to teens (and their parents) interested in getting a part-time job!

Thank you to the Willy Street Co-op, Community Shares of Wisconsin, and all of the Co-op shoppers who say “Yes!” to CHIP! We are extremely grateful for your support!

Taste of Willy Street, 2014

Taste of Willy Street Success!

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The 13th annual Taste of Willy Street was held at the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center on Tuesday, May 6th. We had an amazing turnout, with nearly all of the tickets sold ahead of time! The food was delicious, the music was charming, and everyone left full and satisfied. Thank you to all of the businesses who donated food and drinks and the volunteers who gave their time and energy. Most of all, thank you to everyone who came out to support our Youth Programs!

Jeff Westra, Community Shares of Wisconsin, Backyard Hero

Celebrating a Backyard Hero: Jeff Westra

Andy Miller Community Shares of Wisconsin, Support, Youth Programs Leave a Comment

Common Wealth’s Youth Programs is proud to recognize Jeff Westra as our Backyard Hero through the Community Shares of Wisconsin. Jeff has been a volunteer in our Youth Programs since 2011 when he became involved through the Greater Madison Society of Human Resource Management. Over the years, Jeff has conducted mock interviews with countless teens in our programs. Most importantly, Jeff has been a strong advocate for our work, including our award-winning Youth-Business Mentoring Program. He connects volunteers to our Youth Programs and provides his insight and expertise in helping us develop new relationships to further our work. The Youth Programs staff is extremely grateful for his dedication to our community’s youth.