The Monkey & The Elephant is a nonprofit dedicated to fully supporting the transition from foster care to independence by engaging former foster youth in a holistic employment and life skills program. Functioning as a full-service café, M&E builds a sense of community and belonging for these youth while supplementing short-term employment with longer-term personal and professional development.
The youth who go through the program at The Monkey & The Elephant spend, on average, ten months working at the Café. In addition to working shifts at the Café (open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and developing the necessary communication skills, discipline, and accountability necessary to successfully hold down a job, they complete a comprehensive program focused on developing their self-awareness, self-reflection, and self-esteem in addition to acquiring tangible life skills like goal setting, time management, conflict resolution, and budgeting.
Intake & Intro to the Cafe
During their first months, time is taken to carefully evaluate where the youth are starting from and understanding what they want to gain from the program, as well as train them on the basics of coffee shop operations.
Program Exercises & employment
By Month 3, the youth are deep into program exercises and focused on gaining independence from a housing, health, and financial perspective, as well as improving discipline, accountability, and skills in the shop.
Transition Support & Planning
In their final two months in the program, the focus is helping them define the life they want to lead moving forward and help them to transition to an education program or a new role at another inspiring organization.