A group who supports Oklahoma City at-risk youth is opening their doors again. It’s a snow cone stand which employs those who seek financial stability.
Sasquatch Shaved Ice is moving into its third season at the Plaza District. The group announced this summer they’re expanding to Bricktown, which means more jobs for those who need it.
The snow cone stand is part of a program affiliated with Homeless Alliance. It offers jobs for teenagers and young adults who have limited options.
“The youth we work with are coming from families that maybe both parents didn’t graduate from high school,” Sasquatch Shaved Ice Manager Whitley O’Connor said. “None of our kids have had bank accounts, so it’s really exciting getting them to get bank accounts and helping work on that financial literacy skills.”
O’Connor said the group employed 21 high school students at the Plaza District location. He said the group plans to double that in Bricktown. The new stand will be located at the corner of Reno Avenue and Mickey Mantle Drive. Each employee gets a checking and savings account.
“We match dollar for dollar what they save toward life enriching opportunities,” O’Connor said. “For a lot of kids, that’s a laptop, so they’re going off to college and they need a laptop and take notes.”
According to the group, the new stand came from a donation by the Arnall Family Foundation. Savannah Slayton is a student at Northwest Classen and will be a junior this fall. This is her second season as an employee and said having the ability to save for her future.
“It would have been really difficult for me to save,” Slayton said. “There’s a real big opportunity for me just because I was able to save like quite a bit of money over the last year.”
According to O’Connor, 95 percent of their employees didn’t have a computer or internet access while at home.
Their Bricktown location is set to open on July 1.