Our Mission

More Than Words is a nonprofit social enterprise that empowers young adults who are in the foster care system, court-involved, homeless, or out of school to take charge of their lives by taking charge of a business.

We believe that when system-involved youth are empowered with authentic and increasing responsibilities in a business setting, and are given high expectations and a culture of support, they can and will address personal barriers to success, create concrete action plans, and become contributing members of society who live, love and own their futures.

Our Model: Work Works

More Than Words serves youth, ages 16 to 24, who have been court-involved, homeless, in foster care, or out of school. 66% have current or previous involvement with the Department of Children and Families and/or the court system and 20% experience homelessness.

Business Job

Young adults work approximately 20 hours per week managing our online, retail, pop-up and wholesale bookselling businesses, running a high-end event space, and gaining critical life skills and work experience while generating revenue that offsets program costs. Youth facilitate peer-led trainings and weekly team meetings, manage sales, and plan and host events. Youth are also out on 3 trucks doing daily pickups at donation bins, homes, businesses and institutions in the community, sourcing over 3M donated books annually to run their businesses. Through the Business job, young people learn marketable and transferable job skills, including customer service, technology, inventory management, as well as critical professional skills such as showing up on time and working as a team.

YOU Job

Young adults also work a paid YOU job focused on advancing personal goals and education. Youth achieve personal milestones such as obtaining an ID, opening a bank account, and finding housing, and participate in site visits with businesses, trade schools, and universities, hands-on workshops, mock interviews, education coaching and regular meetings with Youth Development Managers. Through the YOU Job, youth set and achieve measurable goals in education, work, and life.

Career Services Program

After 6-12 months working their Business and YOU jobs in the Core Social Enterprise Program, young adults graduate and receive at least two years of proactive support in the Career Services Program as they apply what they learned in other jobs and education. Youth receive individualized case management support as needed in the areas including but not limited to career exploration, college exploration and applications, FAFSA completion, job searching skills, resume and cover letter writing and interviewing skills. Our graduates go on college visits, attend networking events, serve in leadership roles, and get coaching to reach their education, employment, and self-sufficiency goals.

This model works.

Our Graduates go on to earn diplomas and employment at impressive rates.

The biggest change I’ve experienced since starting at MTW is having more motivation. MTW helped me feel excited again. I looked forward to coming to work and that excitement had a positive effect on lots of other areas of my life. MTW is a play button from pause, it’s a second chance for many people like me.

Robyn, MTW Graduate