Work 2 Learn

Work 2 Learn is a proven youth development model for DCF youth ages 15 to 21 in the areas of education and workforce development through structured mentorship support by caring adults. In order to receive these services, all youth must be referred by DCF social workers.


Work 2 Learn provides services for two different communities: Greater Hartford and Eastern Connecticut.

You are eligible if you are a:

DCF-committed or DCF-involved youth (includes youth committed as 18-year-olds who remain with DCF voluntarily)


Youth without a high school diploma or GED, and NOT currently enrolled in an educational program


Youth who are on parole OR who have recently finished their parole commitment

OPP works with youth to develop a long-term plan with short-term outcomes broken out, working towards the attainment of a postsecondary credential and/or meaningful employment.

The three main services Work 2 Learn provides:

Youth Development

Academic Support

Job Readiness

After being matched with a caring adult, youth have the guidance to gain important life skills. They are helped with their social and emotional development by making strong interpersonal and community connections. Their YDS can also give them access to support for mental heath and substance abuse counseling as well as housing.

Youth gain access to high school diploma or GED completion programs as well as vocational training. They get help through different career tutorial support and post secondary planning and placements.

The Youth Business program helps to introduce youth to employment via simulated enviroments. Through job placement and internships, young adults gain important lessons in becoming economically independent. Work 2 Learn also offers job retention services to help the youth stay in a good job.

Most organizations work with youth until they are 18; OPP continues working with youth through age 24 to provide the needed support during a challenging time between high school and economic independence.

For additional information, please contact Jinelle Hooker, Director of Work 2 Learn Services, 860.761.7300

or Karina Nieves, Administrative Assistant,