This Way Ahead is a rigorous, work readiness training program for low-income youth between the ages of 16 and 24. Through a partnership with Gap Inc., the program offers intensive customer service workshops led by program coordinators who teach basic employment skills, as well as skills specific to the retail environment.

After completing the workshops, participants compete for 10-week, paid summer internships at local stores. The majority of participants receive interviews and roughly 50% or more receive job offers from Gap stores, while the rest are placed in other paid positions with the help of program coordinators.

Participants receive individualized mentorship from both program coordinators and Gap Inc. managers. By completing the program, participants understand the requirements of working in a professional setting and gain experience in the retail industry. Since the program’s inception in 2012, 92% of participants have completed their internships, and well over 80% of interns have received an offer to continue part-time employment after their internships have been completed.