Your involvement matters.

Many of our programs could not happen without the support and time of people like YOU! There are many ways to make a difference in someone’s life through Able Works. Currently, there are three easy ways to get involved:

1. Host a FutureProfits spring lab field trip at your workplace. (Or chaperone one of these field trips.)
Each Spring, FutureProfits takes students on field trips to various companies in the Bay Area that show our students opportunities they may have never been exposed to as well as inspiring them to continue succeeding in school and make good choices. In the past, students have left feeling inspired at the possibilities in their life. Here is a video from last year’s trips to Google, New Relic, Woodruff Sawyer, Spectrum Equity and Noah Basketball:

We are hoping to expand the industries we are able to visit and we would love to hear from you if this is something you’d be interesting in hosting. Our groups of students vary in number and can be anywhere from 15-30 students with volunteer, teacher and Able Works staff chaperones. Classes are either freshman or senior high school students. In the past this has been about a half day visit, with a tour and potentially a few speakers talking about the industry and how they came to have the jobs they do. The labs are in April and the dates are flexible depending on specific classes. For more information or to volunteer to host a lab or be a chaperone on one of these trips, you can email Shanae,

2. Be a guest speaker at the LiveAble:Women Cohort
Our cohort often talks about various topics including resume building, fitness, nutrition, financial education, budgeting, job interviews, etc. If you have knowledge or specialize in any of these categories and would like to share your knowledge, you can impact the lives on young women by being a guest speaker at our LiveAble:Women Cohort. Cohort meetings are Thursday evenings from 6:30-8:00pm. To volunteer or for more information, contact Blanca at You can find out more about the cohort here.

3. Co-teach a FutureProfits class.
FutureProfits is in need of classroom volunteers. These volunteers teach high school students our FutureProfits curriculum during the school day. Training is provided and the time commitment is 1.5 hours a week during the school day. Times and locations vary, but we would love to talk with you more about what your role as a FutureProfits teacher could look like. For more information, contact Shanae,


Needed: FutureProfits Volunteers

With a new school semester starting, we are in need of more FutureProfits volunteers. FutureProfits volunteers receive complete training and materials to use in class and the time commitment is about an hour a week. 

Would you consider volunteering your time to teach high school students financial life skills? Or would you consider asking a friend who you might think would be great for this? Times needed to be filled can be seen below. If interested in volunteering or you have more questions, please email Shanae at

Carlmont H.S. – in Belmont 
  • 12:31-1:21p – Freshman 
  • 1:28-2:18p – Freshman 
  • 2:25-3:15p – Freshman 
Sequoia H.S. — in Redwood City
  • 10:30-11:20p – Seniors
  • 1:50-2:40p — Seniors 
Sequoia H.S — in Redwood City 
  • 1-1:50p — Seniors  
Sequoia H.S. – in Redwood City 
  • 8:30-9:20a — Freshman 
  • 9:20-10:10a – Freshman 
  • 11:20-12:10p — Seniors 
  • 1-1:50p — Seniors 
Carlmont H.S. — in Belmont 
  • 10:51-11:44a – Freshman 
  • 12:31-1:21p – Freshman

Meet Our Team: Shanae Green

Take the time to learn a little about Shanae and her role at Able Works.

Each month, a member of the Able Works team will let you know a little bit about themselves through a short video. We hope you take the time to watch a learn what makes the Able Works team so great. Learn more about our FutureProfits Program Assistant, Shanae Green.

Introducing Mary Ellen Lemieux.


Mary Ellen Lemieux is the newest addition to our Able Works family. She is an Associate Clinical Social Worker who will be offering counseling services to our clients, their families and other individuals we serve.

Mary Ellen grew up in the midwest before moving west in her early twenties. After graduating law school from UC Hastings in 1990, she practiced law for nearly 10 years, specializing in commercial litigation. After nearly pulling her hair raising three boys as a stay at home mom, she returned to school and graduated with a Masters in Social Work from San Francisco State University in 2012. She is a registered Associate Clinical Social Worker with the Board of Behavioral Sciences and enjoys working with Able Works clients and their families in order to achieve their personal goals, navigate public school policies, and address family law questions. A former Bayshore Christian Ministries board member, Mary Ellen has volunteers in the East Palo Alto community since 1984. When not working, she can be seen folding laundry or standing in line at Safeway. Feel free to say hello to Mary Ellen by sending her an email,

FutureProfits Visits Google and Other Local Companies.

High school students are using their experiences in FutureProfits to plan and dream for their futures.

Recently, after a FutureProfits field trip to Google, a student said, “Yesterday, I decided to be a firefighter. We watched a video and in it, it said ‘choose the career you would choose if it wasn’t about the money.’ And I said to myself right then, ‘I want to be a firefighter.” It is moments like these that impact a student’s life. If just one of our students can dream about their futures in a positive way, then this program is successful.

One of the problems we face with our FutureProfits students is that no one has showed them how to dream about the endless career possibilities for their lives. However, one of the great things about FutureProfits is that we not only teach life decision making skills and financial literacy, we also provide students with opportunities to dream big dreams. Our hope is that students will look at life after high school with hope and replace their limited vision for the future with a positive goal in mind. One way we do this is through our FutureProfits labs.

The Labs take students out of the classroom and show them first hand the concepts and principles taught in class, as well as possible career paths and futures. We do this by visiting a number of different companies and listening to employees share their journeys out of high school or college. This year we got to visit a number of different companies in various industries, ranging from technology to sports. The students visited GoogleNew RelicWoodruff SawyerSpectrum Equity, and Noah Basketball. Students left feeling inspired about their lives after high school and many students took to heart the advice given to them at the different companies.

Here are a few thoughts from the students after the field trips:

“I learned to go for what you want to do in the future and to not give up on that.” -Everlin

“I learned that you don’t have to be from a high-class to get where you are going.” -Randy

“It was amazing that some of the speakers didn’t always know what they were doing with their lives.” -Keionte

“I liked that the speakers shared their lives with us.” -Mariela

“I really loved their work environment.” -Gisel

Thank you so much to the companies, volunteers, and donors who make these experiences possible!

Meet Our Staff: Jenni Ingram


Each month, a member of the Able Works team will let you know a little bit about themselves through a short video. We hope you take the time to watch a learn what makes the Able Works team so great. Learn more about our FutureProfits Program Director, Jenni Ingram.

Mentioned in Jeremy Affeldt’s New Book, To Stir a Movement

Jeremy Affeldt is not only a pitcher for the San Francisco Giants. He is also a friend of Able Works. For the past two years, Able Works and his organization, Generation Alive, have partnered to host the Something2Eat Event. Something2Eat is an event where students raise money for and pack 100,000 meals in an effort to end global hunger. At this event, students learn that despite having limited resources, they can make a huge difference in the world. In his new book, To Stir A Movement, he mentions this event and the impression East Palo Alto left on him. You can read the excerpt of his book here.

“I recently hung out for an entire day with four hundred fifty high school students in East Palo Alto to package one hundred thousand meals for our Something to Eat initiative. East Palo Alto is a suburb of San Francisco and is divided from Palo Alto by a freeway. Palo Alto is a very wealthy area fueled by the success of the Silicon Valley. Apple, Google, and Facebook are some of the corporations connected to Palo Alto. East Palo Alto lies in stark contrast. About sixty-five percent of the residents of East Palo Alto are Hispanic/Latino, sixteen percent are African-American, and ten percent are Pacific Islander/Asian. Several years ago Michelle Pfeiffer starred in the movie Dangerous Minds, in which she played a teacher who taught at an East Palo Alto high school. In the movie the students’ lives were being destroyed by drugs, gang involvement, illicit sex, and crime. Living in East Palo Alto is still a dangerous reality for a young person. In the few months before our Something to Eat event, several young people were killed through drug and gang violence. However, on this day something truly unique happened. Many young people were being called out of the lives that they were trapped – in drugs, crime, gangs, violence – and suddenly finding themselves in a story of restoration and hope. They even raised money to provide food for those who were less fortunate than they. We worked hard all day, yet these teenagers didn’t want to take a break. We stopped for short five-minute breaks throughout the event to talk about and reflect on why we were doing what we were doing, exchange information about the world hunger crises, discuss the importance of taking care of each other, and share inspirational thoughts. Local artists performed street poetry that was uplifting and spiritually rich. It was amazing to see what was unfolding. The East Palo Alto Police Captain spent the day with us. He was so enthusiastic about what was happening that he was on the phone talking to the news media, reminding them that they were all at the recent murder scenes involving young people, and they needed to come see the good things young people were doing. Many of these young people found themselves caught up in participation of God’s movement of restoration and hope for the first time in their lives.

We’re dreaming now of hosting an event to package one million meals, to show teens and others that loving their neighbors and making a difference is an important part of God allowing us to participate in His movement toward restoration.”

Excerpt from Affeldt, Jeremy, To Stir A Movement: Life, Justice, and Major League Baseball (Kansas City: Jeremy Affeldt and Beacon Hill Press, 2013), p. 184-185

Bringing HouseAble to Local College Students

IMG_0171 When thinking about poverty, it is very easy to look at it as a singular issue. We naturally try to find simple actions to fix the problem. However, poverty is multi-faceted and sometimes requires complex and difficult approaches to create change. This is especially true in regards to the issues under-resourced college students face. For a college student who is coming out of our community, success can be hard to achieve. They will face challenges in their new environment, culturally, academically, and emotionally as they adjust to the challenges of higher education that all students face. However, as we often see, our students fight the challenge of unreliable and often unsafe housing situations. When Able Works looks at the factors in stabilizing the community, getting kids through college ranks at the top of the list. But how do we remove these barriers?

Recently, we had an amazing opportunity. A small, four-unit apartment complex became available for us to purchase. Immediately, we saw a connection between this complex and the desperate needs of local college students. We knew this project could be the resource for students we’ve been looking for!

Our vision is to create a dorm like setting that would allow students to escape any challenges that might prevent them from succeeding both academically and personally. This environment will facilitate the transition from life at home to living independently; facilitate the transition to a new school; provide the opportunity to integrate into a community of peers while learning social skills; and most importantly it will provide the quiet space and stable housing environment they so desperately need to focus on their studies and successfully complete college.

This will be a partnership with another local organization, Live In Peace, that already provides support and scholarships to local college students. They have a long history of getting students into college and helping them remain in college.

Our other partner in creating this dorm like housing is 2nd Mile. 2nd Mile is a non-profit organization that has done a lot of work in East Palo Alto and seeks to invest in communities with simple, direct, and unyielding kindness. 2nd Mile has created a great floor plan that will allow 10 students to live there.

We are so thrilled that God has provided us with this amazing resource and opportunity! Construction is set to begin in the summer and volunteer opportunities will be available for various projects. If you are interested in volunteering at a workday or have skilled knowledge of construction projects, please contact Laura at and she will keep you up to date of those projects.

Meet Our Staff: Blanca Medina

This is a new feature as a part of our e-newsletter. Each month, a member of the Able Works team will let you know a little bit about themselves through a short video. We hope you take the time to watch and learn a little bit about what makes the Able Works team so great. Our first interview is with our LiveAble Program Manager, Blanca Medina.

Mentors Needed!

Are you interested in becoming a mentor? We have various opportunities for you to build a relationship with an individual who is seeking to better their lives with hope for a brighter future. Our mentors will be mentoring individuals in both our FutureProfits program and our LiveAble:Women cohort. The time commitment for both is 6 months to a year with various time commitments throughout the weeks. Please contact Jenni, at for more information or to set up a mentor training for you to become a mentor.