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Bright Spot Ventures is a social enterprise that was created by West End Neighborhood House in April of 2010 thanks to a generous gift from Barclays US. The program was designed to give Delaware�s former foster care youth real-world, paid employment experience (for many their first) in a contextual learning environment. The program accomplishes this by creating businesses that train and employ foster care youth. BSV initiatives include an Urban Agricultural Initiative (Bright Spot Farms and Mobile Market, the Cool Spring Farmers Market) as well as popdot signs & graphics, a sign creation and installation business. Bright Spot Farms: In 2011, West End created a community garden in the heart of the city's Little Italy district. Youth in West End's Bright Spot Ventures program used several of the plots to grow produce, which they then sold at the Cool Spring Farmers Market (10th and Jackson Streets in Wilmington). In 2014 the urban agriculture program became Bright Spot Farms and expanded to include acre of arable land and greenhouse (through a partnership with Delaware's Department of Health & Social Services); initiated a pilot program to grow starter plant material for community gardens in New Castle County; and added a Mobile Market thanks to a grant from Highmark Delaware. The Bright Spot Farms program includes up to nine months of training that emphasizes soft skills such as punctuality, conflict resolution, a strong work ethic and business-related job and financial skills (such as using a cash register and maintaining inventory). The program also teaches horticultural skills through a curriculum developed by program staff and approved by the Delaware Nursery & Landscape Association. As part of the program, youth have the opportunity to obtain a food handlers certificate issued by Delaware's Department of Agriculture. For the last two months of the program, youth are placed in paid internships through partnerships with local businesses. Some of these internships result in offers of employment.

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