What we do

Youth CAN assists out of school youth, ages 16-24, with educational, training, and career opportunities through various resources and supportive services. Our mission is to help young people achieve academic and occupational goals and attain a healthy work ethic. Youth CAN provides the financial and educational help the eligible youth need to receive a high school diploma, high school equivalency diploma, postsecondary diploma, or other qualified credential. We prepare them for employment, occupational, and educational opportunities.

Services and Activities

  • Resources Network
    Find and apply for HiSET programs, skill training institutions, postsecondary academic institutions, employment agencies, daycare facilities, affordable housing, and other community resources.

  • Tutoring
    Provided through Youth CAN or other providers to prepare participants for high school proficiency exams, HiSET tests, or specific classes.

  • Workshops
    Career and personal development workshops throughout the year cover topics such as interviewing skills, time management, and career exploration.

  • Paid Work Experience
    Youth CAN subsidized, short-term jobs on a short-term basis; in all the counties we serve.

  • Financial Assistance
    For test and entrance fees, tuition, books, materials and supplies for high school, Hiset, and postsecondary activities.

  • Career Mentoring
    Practical counsel on careers and the pathways to enter them.

  • Job Search
    Hands-on search with participants through the Internet, job fairs, newspapers, American Job Centers, and contacts with employers and other youth services agencies. Participants also receive assistance with résumé writing, job applications, and other work-related skills.

  • Support Services
    Financial assistance while participants look for employment or are working and/or going to school. Support includes daycare supplementation; living expenses; bus passes for transportation to and from school and/or jobs; uniforms, tools, and work attire.

  • Counseling and Mentoring
    Continued support and encouragement from case managers to discuss what’s going on in the lives of program participants. Referrals for professional counseling services may also be provided, if necessary.

Participant Eligibility

An individual not attending any school, excluding adult education, between the ages of 16-24 and one of the following:

  • A school dropout

  • A youth who is within compulsory attendance, but has not attended school for at least the most recent complete school year calendar quarter

  • An individual who is subject to the juvenile or adult justice system

  • A homeless individual, a homeless child or youth, a runaway, in foster care or who has aged out of the foster care system, a child eligible for assistance under the Chaffee Act, or in an out-of-home placement

  • A individual who is pregnant or parenting

  • An individual with a disability

  • A recipient of a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent must be low income AND basic skill deficient or an English Language learner

  • An individual who is low income AND who needs additional assistance to enter or complete and educational program or to secure or hold employment

  • All applicants will be interviewed and assessed prior to enrollment by Youth CAN staff.


Our Youth Career Specialists are trained and qualified to:

  • Identify and assess qualified youth and help them map out a personal career strategy

  • Personally guide participants toward receiving a diploma, HiSET, or credential

  • Ensure individuals work toward employment marketability, independence, and personal responsibility

  • Help participants in ways that encourage long-term success

Without college, I most likely would have ended up working a minimum wage job for the rest of my life. Youth CAN saved me from that fate. They saw what I could be and assisted me in becoming that.
— Youth CAN participant

I couldn’t imagine being where I am today without Youth CAN. My Case Manager has been with me every step of the way, through my Paid Work Experience, HiSET and applications for college. This program is way more than I ever expected.
— Youth CAN Participant/ Rutherford County college student


Mid-Cumberland WorkForce Services
(615) 850-3920