Community Services & Employment Training (CSET)
Community Services & Employment Training (CSET)
Sierra Grant: $2,000 in the 1st quarter of 2019
What is the organization’s mission?
CSET inspires youth, families, and communities to achieve self-reliance through innovative pathways and collaboration.
All the non-profits we collaborate with have a vision for their community—what’s your vision?
We share a vision for communities and residents to gain the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to achieve the American Dream. To achieve this vision, we commit ourselves to these core values:
- We strive to assist residents regionally in improving their lives.
- We create opportunities for children, youth, parents, and families to be competitive in an increasingly challenging economy.
- We continue to strengthen our organization by developing internal leadership, embracing diversity, and maintaining integrity in every venture.
- We seek partnerships with other agencies to provide the best possible services to our community.
Describe your organization and/or the work you do in three words.
Collaborative, Community-Focused, Connector
What specific work have you been using donations to accomplish recently?
Donations help to fill specific program needs that may not be met through other funding streams. A few of these examples include:
VITA – Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program: VITA is a free, IRS-sponsored program that provides low- and moderate-income taxpayers with tax return preparation by certified volunteer tax preparers. Volunteers donate their time Saturdays from January through April 15th. In 2019, 186 VITA volunteers were responsible for returning $5.4 million to local residents throughout Kings and Tulare Counties. Donations are used to help keep volunteers energized with meals, snacks, and beverages while preparing taxes – 6,200 volunteer hours were contributed during the last tax season.
Sequoia Community Corps internships: The Sequoia Community Corps (SCC), a local conservation corps, develops the capacity of young men and women to thrive through vocational training, education, leadership development, and conservation work. CSET uses donations to fund internships for corpsmembers who are interested in alternative career pathways so they can participate in additional paid work-based learning opportunities.
Carolyn Rose Scholarship: The Carolyn Rose Scholarship Fund was created in 2012 in honor of CSET Executive Director Carolyn Rose upon her retirement. The scholarship fund assists the Tulare County League of Mexican-American Women to award local youth with college tuition scholarships. CSET has donated more than $39,000 to the Tulare County League of Mexican-American Women, providing 25 scholarships to local college-bound students.
Do you have an individual success story to share from your organization’s efforts?
Homelessness, drug abuse, and trouble with the law are massive barriers for someone trying to improve their life; just ask Rashawn.
At the young age of 21, Rashawn was relying on friends and family for shelter, struggling through drug abuse issues, and trying to navigate the legal system due to past criminal offenses. One challenge after another piled on top of each other, creating a wall so high he wasn’t sure how to escape.
Fortunately, Rashawn heard about the Sequoia Community Corps and decided to attend an orientation to learn more.
When asked why he wanted to join the Corps, Rashawn responded, “I’m tired of not doing anything to better myself.” With that profound realization, his life began to change for the better. Rashawn excelled as a member of the Corps’ Department of Recycling and showed tremendous personal growth. Described by his supervisors as extremely reliable, hardworking, and a great example to younger corpsmembers, Rashawn is now enjoying a life of sobriety, is free of legal issues, and living safely in his very own apartment. As if that wasn’t good enough, Rashawn’s hard work in the Corps was honored when he was named the Corpsmember of the Year.
Despite setbacks experienced early in his life, Rashawn found the strength to follow a new path with help from the Sequoia Community Corps. The structure, empowerment, and unwavering support he received as a member of the Corps helped Rashawn turn his life around and discover the motivation to succeed.
Educating the public about causes is an important part of non-profit work. Is there something you’d like everyone to know about the people you help or the efforts of your team?
CSET’s services began with a focus on youth development and have evolved to break the cycle of poverty by equipping individuals with wraparound support including education, training, leadership, housing, and more. Whether it’s a Family Resource Center client being provided with diapers to care for their infant or a homebound senior receiving food deliveries through Meals on Wheels, CSET strives to serve the needs of the whole family unit. A large network of partner organizations helps to ensure every customer is connected to any additional services they need to thrive. With administrative headquarters located in Northern Visalia, CSET’s programs are accessible to rural communities of Tulare County with 15 office locations ranging from Earlimart to Cutler-Orosi.
If people want to volunteer with your organization, what should they expect and where can they contact you?
Volunteer opportunities span across CSET’s more than 40 programs and vary in nature and commitment, making it easy to tailor individual involvement. Some examples that take place in the spring include the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program which runs from January through April, and the annual Tulare County Senior Day in the Park which takes place in May. To get involved as a volunteer, email Marketing and Communications Coordinator Micaela Lara-Lopez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find out more about CSET, please visit their website and social media: