We have an impressive line-up of workforce readiness and leadership programs, all designed to meet the many interests of teens.  One teen at a time, we are helping to build a stronger community and workforce for the future.

Work Readiness Program

Work Readiness Program  – A 10 week program designed to prepare teens to get and keep a job. Chop’s Awesome Pretzel Cart is used to teach business skills such as marketing, profit margins, inventory, customer service, cash handling, food safety and sanitation. Participants will earn a basic food handlers certificate and gain valuable work experience taking the pretzel cart out to the West End Farmers Market. Participants will learn the financial aspects of earning a paycheck with a visit from Redwood Credit Union staff. Participants will learn to create a cover letter and a resume, what to say and not to say in an interview, fine tune new interviewing skills and then local employers will host mock interviews for participants to practice their interviewing skills, and may lead to a job. The Work Readiness Program focuses on 15 competencies that Sonoma County Employers identified as being needed for success on the job. Successful participants will walk away with a professional portfolio and the Sonoma County Office of Education’s Work Ready Certificate and earn a $200 stipend.

Awesome Pretzel Cart Program

Participants will work the Awesome Pretzel Cart at the West End Farmers Market. Participants will use business skills learned in our Work Readiness program, such as customer service, cash handling, food safety and sanitation to sell pretzels and gain valuable work experience.

*Pre-Requisite: Pretzel Cart Business, Basic Food Handlers & Customer Service workshops.

Basic Food Handler Certification

In order to work in the food service industry in the State of California a food handler certificate is required. This two hour course and test covers all of the required topics such as proper times and temperatures for cooking and storing food, personal hygiene, equipment sanitation and much more. Upon the completion of the course, participants will receive the California Food Handler’s Certificate, which is good for three years.  This certificate is required to work the Chop’s Awesome Pretzel Cart at community events.

Barista Training Certificate Program

A series of 2-hour workshops featuring employable skills for working in a coffee shop.  Students learn steaming, frothing and preparing hot/cold drinks, how to get a barista job, and outstanding customer service skills.  Each participant receives a training manual, recipe guide and certificate of completion after passing the Barista Basics Test.

Culinary/Catering Program

The culinary program is held every Friday in Chop’s Teaching Kitchen.  The class accommodates beginning and intermediate culinary students.  The curriculum focuses on culinary basics such as getting used to being in the kitchen and reading recipes, to more advanced skills such as safety and sanitation, knife skills, baking, sautéing and grilling.  Part of the curriculum includes career guidance and exploration in the field of Culinary Arts.


A career focused website featuring thousands of videos of people doing their jobs.  The website was created in response to teens saying they do not know what people really do in their jobs; therefore find it difficult to decide on a career direction.  Along with videos showing people engaged in their jobs, it also provides statistical data on job forecast and career information.

Digital Film Making

An introduction to digital film and basic camera operation, framing and shooting video.  Other topics covered include basic workflow from planning, to shooting, to editing.  Participants will have an opportunity to learn techniques on how to make their video productions look professional.  Participants will also have the opportunity to start creating a professional portfolio of their work, which includes creating videos that can be posted on the jobsmadereal.com website.

Photoshop 1 & 2

Two 6-week courses designed to help participants learn the basics of Photoshop. Topics in Photoshop 1 include pixels, color management, scanning, saving files, navigating, layer basics, various layering techniques, paint, using select, brushes, selection tools, image adjustments, masks and composing. Photoshop 2 introduces advanced Photoshop tools. Areas covered include the ability to create accurate masks and image effects, retouch images, work with video files, automate repetitive tasks, and integrate with other Adobe applications.

Basic Development Leadership Lab

Specifically designed for 7th-10th grade students. Participants will establish a firm foundation of leadership knowledge and skills to help any group successfully accomplish a task. The program  is set in an active and interactive laboratory setting. Participants will discover their natural leadership style and learn how to work well with people who have different styles.  Includes a special section on making meetings effective. 3 sessions; 2 hours each.

Advanced Leadership Development Lab

Conducted in the same fun, active and interactive style, the Advanced Lab builds on the foundation of knowledge and skills presented in the Basic Lab. It will help participants refine and deepen their leadership capacity, and includes special sections on creative problem solving, effective communication, feedback and coaching, presentation and public speaking, and working effectively with adults. These two Labs will help participants step effectively into leadership roles on the Youth Empowerment Council, on the Members’ Council at Chop’s, or on other advisory boards, groups or clubs in school and in the community.

3 sessions; 2 hours each.

Youth Empowerment and Leadership Conference

This one day conference for 7th and 8th graders is held annually in April  during the school day and is designed to empower youth with the tools, inspiration and aspiration to move forward confidently as leaders, and to succeed and thrive in their lives.  This is accomplished through inspiring speakers, interactive workshops, music, dance, and the opportunity to visit booths occupied by key Sonoma County organizations dedicated to the empowerment of our youth community.

Youth Empowerment Council

The Youth Empowerment Council (YEC) is a partnership between Tomorrow’s Leaders Today (TLT) and Chop’s Teen Club (Chop’s)  to create a forum for youth voices in our community and to utilize their leadership skills to enhance our community. The YEC strives to be a diverse representation of youth in Sonoma County and is open to students in grades 10-12. The YEC involves themselves with local government initiatives and hold seats on various task force groups. They are trained in meeting rules and regulations, develop presentations skills, and implement various projects to empower other youth in the community. One staff person from TLT and one staff person from Chop’s are appointed to work in partnership as the advisors to the YEC. Their role is to provide guidance to the YEC members as well as to provide continuity and sustainability for the YEC.



Member Council Meetings

Member meetings allow teen members to come together, voice your opinions, and take an active role in shaping the future here at Chop’s. Meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month and are facilitated by our Member Council. Council members are elected by the members in January, and meet weekly with our staff mentors who help them develop leadership skills necessary to represent their peers.