The Turn to a Positive Mentality

Kayden’s classmates often made fun of his shyness and his father’s departure from the family. While teachers acknowledged the situation, they didn’t take concrete actions to stop the teasing. Kayden soon became unmotivated to go to school and was referred to the YouthBuild program by a case manager a year ago.


In the beginning, Kayden was still feeling the effects of bullying and didn’t want to attend YouthBuild classes. YouthBuild Director Andrew Jope and YouthBuild Program Manager Prem Linskey recalled, “Kayden came here on a trial basis from Burlington High School, and over time, he’s really become invested in the program. He shows up every day with a good attitude and an eagerness to go to work. It’s so different from when he was barely showing up a year ago. It’s where he wants to be.”


Kayden credited his changes to the staff’s attentive care. He explained, “They are here for you…they want to make sure you succeed. They will listen. When I used to come here, I never used to want to be here. Prem being there for me every day and constantly making me smile, laugh, and make me feel better about myself—it’s just been amazing to have that support.”


Kayden has enjoyed spending time with fellow classmates and working on projects that benefit the community, such as fixing up affordable housing and covering up air leaks in attics. Hands-on learning was particularly important to Kayden, as he had a difficult time learning in classrooms where he was not able to move for long periods of time. Now that Kayden is taking steps to earn his high school diploma, he aspires to study either Sports Management or Culinary Arts in college.


YouthBuild has helped Kayden transform his demeanor—from pessimistic to positive. Prem told him that a positive mindset could change everything.  Kayden shared how this advice impacted his mindset—“Prem said this thing, ‘It’s all mental.’ You can completely change your whole day just by thinking differently. Everything can be turned into a positive; even if something that’s really bad that’s happening, you can always find a positive…and now I am able to find the positives in everything, even if it’s bad.”


The staff’s words of wisdom coupled with construction lessons and weatherization projects that Kayden was fond of have helped change his mentality and have given him a brighter outlook for the future. He wants any students who might be struggling in traditional high school to know that there’s always someone to support them and be their ally.

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What is Career Start?

Career Start is a program designed for high school students to gain hands-on experience and technical skills in various departments at ReSOURCE’s Burlington or Barre locations.

High school students enrolled in school are eligible to participate in the Career Start program.

The program provides hands-on experience in ReSOURCE departments, technical skills training, and monthly personal and professional development classes.

There is a fee of $1500, but tuition is waived for qualifying Vermonters.

Departments include Customer Service & Retail, Office Administration, Computers and Electronics, Overlook Cafe, and Large Appliances, among others.

Yes, students earn a monthly stipend

Training covers Health and Wellness, Goal Setting and Achievement, Leadership Development, Career Planning, and Financial Literacy.

Interested individuals should contact ReSOURCE’s Training and Development Manager, Susan Uthmann, for enrollment details.


Please contact:

Susan Uthmann
Training and Development Manager
[email protected]

Partner Agency List

Our partners help us to provide $125,000 worth of goods to over 2,000 individuals/families in Chittenden, Lamoille, and Washington Counties, and the greater Vermont area.

  • Addison Community Action/CVOEO
  • Age Well
  • Agency of Human Services- Field Services Burlington District
  • Burlington Community Justice Center
  • Burlington Housing Authority
  • Chittendent Community Action/CVOEO
  • Clarina Howard Nichols Center
  • Committee On Temporary Shelter
  • Essex Community Justice Center
  • Howard Center Community Support Program
  • Howard Center Developmental Services
  • Howard Center School Service Program
  • Lamoille Family Center
  • Milton Family Community Center
  • Pathways Vermont- Housing First Program
  • Pathways Vermont -services for veterans and families rapid rehousing program
  • Safe Harbor Clinic
  • Spectrum Youth and Family Services
  • Steps to End Domestic Violence
  • The Janet S. Munt Family Room
  • U.S. Committee for refugees and Immigrants
  • U.S. Committee for refugees and Immigrants
  • Vermont Cares
  • Vermont Catholic Charities
  • Vermont Foundation of Recovery


Become a Partner Agency

For interest in joining our program please email [email protected] to learn more about the next application cycle or any availability in become a new partner agency.

We make award decisions each December for the next calendar year and notify partners so our clients can request vouchers.

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