The Evergreen Lodge is a unique social purpose enterprise. The Yosemite tourist lodge is a for-profit business founded and financed to support its built-in youth development social program. The Evergreen's youth program is transparent to most guests and is fully financed from Lodge profits. The Evergreen's entrepreneurs and progressive-minded investors receive a blend of financial and social returns on their investment.
- YOUTH PROGRAM SNAPSHOT:
A group of high-potential young adults from urban backgrounds work at the Evergreen as paid interns. They gain work experience and receive career and life counseling while living in a supportive community and enjoying outdoor experiences. The Lodge partners with Juma Ventures, which provides expertise and support in program design and implementation.
- EVERGREEN LODGE SNAPSHOT:
The Evergreen's owners have invested over $11 million dollars in expanding and modernizing the lodge, which is nestled in the woods along the western border of Yosemite National Park. The lodge has 90 cabins, full-service restaurant, classic tavern, general store, group campground, recreation center, game room & theater, indoor and outdoor kidís play areas, relaxing sun deck, and more. The expanded lodge has received rave reviews; it is "highly recommended" by Fodor's California and was described as "the classic Yosemite experience" by Frommer's California.
- Evergreen lodge offers a number of programs that enrich guests'
- Guided Recreation Tours - Professional guides lead guests in fly fishing, snowshoeing, rafting, hiking, touring and more.
- Massage - Certified massage therapists provide rejuvenating, relaxing massages.
- Rentals & Day Use Facilities - Guests can rent mountain bikes, trekking poles, snowshoes, and more.
- Evening Activities - These range from movies to slide shows to live music to guest lectures.
In the Evergreen's youth development program, a group of high-potential young adults from urban backgrounds live and work at the mountain lodge for 5-6 months. The interns gain work experience and receive additional training and supervision to help them acquire needed skills. Interns receive individualized counseling from the lodge's full time Youth Development Manager. This counseling focuses on both the issues that may be holding the individual back in life, as well as on his/her next career and/or educational steps. The goal is to help interns leave the lodge stable and with clear steps toward achieving a successful, fulfilling life.
Evergreen's youth program has been successful in helping young adults develop skills, build momentum in their lives and move on to obtain excellent, career-oriented jobs. The lodge serves as an innovative model of social-purpose enterprise, demonstrating that with a strong social service partner, experienced and committed entrepreneurs and progressive socially-minded investors, business can be an effective and efficient vehicle in providing long-term solutions to societal problems.
Donald is a typical participant of Evergreenís Youth Employment and Development Program. During the 2004 season, Donald lived on site and is a full-time staff member, gaining experience in all aspects of the kitchen. Donald excelled in all aspects of employment and requirements of the program. Donald gained marketable job skills that will help him to find employment after leaving the Evergreen and college. Donald is now attending City College Of San Francisco. Full Story