Posted on by admin

Against a royal blue backdrop, Precious Perks was buzzing with community members ahead of its grand opening Thursday.

A Precious Child’s new workforce program officially opened with the cut of a ribbon outside the nonprofit’s headquarters on Thursday. Precious Perks was created to equip young adults with skills needed so that they can obtain — and retain — employment.

The shop features coffee drinks, snacks, treats and A Precious Child-branded merchandise, all served up by employees ranging from age 16 to 24.

Precious Perks Director Cecil Velasquez said Precious Perks has been a part of the nonprofit’s five-year plan, but the coronavirus pandemic expedited the workforce program after the need became more pressing.

“We know a lot of young people should know certain things, but how do they know them if they haven’t been taught?” Velasquez said Thursday. “What we did was create a curriculum of 20 items we think every young person should know to be introduced into the workforce, but I think also to be successful in life. A lot of these youth are disadvantaged in some way or another. What we want to do is not just level the playing field, but we want to elevate their game and help them stand out among their peers.”

BROOMFIELD, CO - July 15, 2021: ...
Bri Dolan serves a customer at the cafe. Nonprofit, A Precious Child, launched Precious Perks, an on-site coffee shop and gift store, employing young adults and providing real-world experiences. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

Along with learning the ins and outs of a retail business by helping run Precious Perks, the participants are learning things such as communication skills and managing money.

“The curriculum will be a combination of training by leaders in the community, financial literacy, interview preparation, companies and mentorship tours,” A Precious Child’s webpage states. “The Precious Perks workforce development class will take seven months for each participant, with six of those months focused on programming and education. The last month will feature both graduation and the start of the participant’s mentorship.”

Participants will also earn their Certificate of Work Ethic Proficiency from The Center for Work Ethic Development, the National Career Readiness Certificate, and the National Retail Federation RISE UP Retail Industry Fundamentals Certificate, the webpage reads.

“I think it’s really important for Colorado employers to see that they’ve got people who can come in and be skilled,” Velasquez said.

For Precious Perks employee Stepheno Wescoat, that’s exactly what happened.

Someone from Columbia Factory Store at the Denver Premium Outlet Mall was at Precious Perks and, after seeing the program, gave Wescoat his phone number.

“And I was able to get a job. It’s a really great job. … I’m a cashier and a general associate,” he said.

Wescoat, 19, has been at Precious Perks for about a month. He’s also working at Columbia and going to Front Range Community College. He said the skills learned through the workforce program have carried over into his education.

“It’s a lot to balance, as well as school, so I’ve had to learn a lot about being organized and having to write things down,” he said.

BROOMFIELD, CO - July 15, 2021: ...
Nonprofit, A Precious Child, launched Precious Perks, an on-site coffee shop and gift store, employing young adults and providing real-world experiences. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

Before the ribbon cutting, Velasquez said he envisions those who go through the workforce program going from mentees to mentors of future participants.

“When Carina (Martin, founder,) started A Precious Child in 2008 she always envisioned a cradle-to-career support for the children and families we serve,” Chief Communication Officer Courtney Weichberg said Thursday. “And this is the final piece of that puzzle. We are able to give youths ages 16 to 24 those stepping stones to really help them gain the skills and the things they need to succeed in the workforce.”

Precious Perks is located in Unit 6 of the nonprofit’s headquarters, 7051 West 118th Ave. and is open Wednesday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Precious Perks participant application as well as applications for professionals interested in becoming a mentor or businesses interested in participating in the program can be found at

“I’m so grateful to have Cecil and Carina and all the staff here just build this up,” Wescoat said Thursday. “It’s absolutely amazing, I love everything about it and I’m so grateful that I can be a part of it. I’ve learned new things that I haven’t before and really get to explore what I want to do.”