The Trellis Crew

Remember your first job? That first paycheck?

In an increasingly automated and segregated age, access to local and inspiring work is getting harder and harder. In fact today, only 1 of 3 teenagers are able to find work and that number is even lower among youth of color.  Many have stopped looking.

But here’s how you can help…

The Trellis Crew is a group of students aged 14-20 from public housing being deliberately partnered with local and small businesses for paid work placements.

How it Works

Trellis partners with freelancers, LLC’s, schools, churches, small business owners and elected officials who help provide paid work for these students.

We then work carefully to place the students in situations that fit their capacities, talents and desires

These placements are also about breaking stereotypes and building relationships, while we work with the students and employers to help them grow and learn from each other through the placement

The summer of 2017 was when I began to work at the coffee shop. It was my first job, so I was extremely excited…I’m the only African-American girl there. Yes, it is intimidating sometimes, but I try to see my way past it. I do like my job, but now thinking about it, there are flaws to it and the only way I can change is by being the best employee/co-worker I can be as well as society getting over racial stereotypes.
— Crew member, 2017

Are you a student or a parent of a student? Click HERE to contact us to find out more about how to get signed up for our program

Want to Help?

1. Employ and Equip

Are you a freelancer, LLC or business owner?  You can provide a full-time, part-time or occasional paid work opportunity to one of these students?

Through these placements the students will...

  • Gain valuable hands on work experience in the day-to-day of your business: pouring coffee, stickering merchandise, receiving shipments, maybe managing your social media for month

  • Learn practical qualities like teamwork, flexibility, dependability and being resourceful

  • Watch you model things like leadership, planning, time management and business etiquette

Along the way, Trellis will be working with the students and employer to ensure a strong working, learning relationship as both learn from one another during this experience.

Through these placements, the students will be inspired in fresh and practical ways as to future work possibilities and the steps to help get them there.

  Jaleel pouring a Kombucha

Jaleel pouring a Kombucha

It’s important to make your space feel accessible to all of the locals in your neighborhood, and to make people of all ages feel welcome. I believe that the students in our store was one way that we’ve demonstrated that we care about our local community, and that neighborhood kids should feel welcome to stop in after school to hang out. Spending time with them gave me valuable insight into the perspective and interests of this next generation.
— Dan Sorg, co-founder and director of Regular Visitors in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn

2. Give

Your financial gift will help sponsor students for work placements and provides financially for paid community services.

Some of our students helping beautify Thomas Greene Park in Brooklyn and one of them getting her first bank account

3. Host a visit

Maybe you can’t hire a student but you work somewhere interesting and could host a visit from the crew to show them what you do and where you work.  Email us for more details.

4. Spread the Word

Know someone who runs a business or does freelance that you think would be interested.  Post this page to social media and invite others to employ, inspire and support these students.