Nonprofit cooks up fundraiser

The Glendale Youth Alliance hosted a luncheon on Wednesday at the Anoush Banquet Hall to raise funds to support employing hundreds of youth this summer.

For the first time in more than 15 years, the organization did not receive enough money from the city and federal government to support its summer program, which connects young adults with work in office settings, such as libraries, hospitals or nonprofits.

Last year, the organization matched 350 low-income Burbank, Glendale and La Cañada residents, ages 14 through 24, with summer jobs.

The nonprofit still has the money to pay 45 teens to work for the annual summer brush-clearance program, but the federal stimulus funding that powered the larger summer employment program has dried up, forcing organizers to find alternative funding sources.

The luncheon on Wednesday attracted 200 guests. Kathy Piumetti, a programs specialist with the Glendale Youth Alliance, said she could not estimate how much the luncheon would raise, but said the summer program needs about $200,000 to operate smoothly.

More than 1,000 applications have been submitted for the summer program, said Karine Grigoryan, the community development supervisor.

“We have a lot of youth coming in,” she said. “And their parents lost their jobs, so they want to put food on the table.”

Glendale Community College Trustee Tony Tartaglia presented three academic scholarships to students on behalf of the Southern California Gas Company, where he is a public affairs manager.

“There are very few organizations out there that provide opportunities and experience for youth,” he said.

Aline Kaimatlian, 20, became involved with the Glendale Youth Alliance in 2006 with her first job at the Glendale Health Center.

“They brought me to my feet, taught me how to be in a work environment and how to be professional,” she said. “I’ve grown from them a lot. It’s like my family now.”

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