FAIRFIELD — Yippie Yogurt is celebrating its one-year anniversary with an open house and party.
The nonprofit Yippie Yogurt Foundation established the yogurt shop as a job training center for youths. It is located at 1955 Texas St. in Fairfield.
Yippie Yogurt will have its party from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday.
Founder Sherilyn Henry started the nonprofit in 2010. It mentors youths and lets them work in the yogurt shop in a six-month internship, with a wage of $8 an hour.
Henry appeared before the Solano County Board of Supervisors on Oct. 8 to discuss the program. She called Yippie Yogurt the only nonprofit yogurt shop in the world.
Yippie Yogurt has paid $60,000 in salaries to youths who otherwise would have had nothing, Henry said. These are youths at risk of dropping out of high school and becoming a liability to the community, doing such things as joining gangs, she said.
One of the youths who went through the program is working on a law degree and wants to be a foster youth advocate. Three Yippie Yogurt alumni are working for Jelly Belly, she said. A youth has gotten a job at Home Depot, another at Costco.
“These kids are thriving,” Henry said.
She wants the Yippie Foundation to do more than serve a small group of youths – about 65 over two years – but to have job centers in every Solano County city and beyond, Henry told supervisors. She would like to someday have the nonprofit serve thousands of youths.
The county, at Supervisor Skip Thomson’s request, donated $1,500 to the Yippie Foundation.
Thomson recalled when Henry told him about the program about 10 months ago.
“I thought, ‘This is something I can get behind,’ ” Thomson said, adding that youth unemployment is a tremendous problem.
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