Since the Los Altos Youth Commission launched its Teen Friendly Business Award program three years ago, members have annually honored a single business for creating a welcoming environment for local teens. This year, the commission selected three.
In past years, commissioners considered businesses across the city’s seven districts and recognized the one that best catered to teens.
In 2017, the commission selected Spot Pizza as the winner. In 2018, they chose Teaspoon. This year, the concept of the program was “completely reimagined,” according to commission chairman Drishaan Jain.
“We spent a lot more time reviewing the businesses and interviewed the management for the first time this year,” Jain said of the process, which included collaborating with the Los Altos Chamber of Commerce. “We also have never had a formal awards presentation previously.”
The Chamber of Commerce and city staff were scheduled Monday to join the commission in bestowing awards to T4, Baskin-Robbins and AJ Tutoring for the Food/Drink, Employment and Services categories, respectively.
Jain said commissioners began their search for teen-friendly businesses by brainstorming and generating a list for consideration, which they further narrowed down and organized by category. Each commissioner then personally studied and evaluated two to three businesses.
“For the Food/Drink category, commissioners noted if there were any special discounts for teens, if a large number of teens were consistently present within the business and if the business had any special way of specifically catering to teens,” Jain explained. “For the Employment category, commissioners interviewed business management to understand their policy of hiring teens, and actual teenage employment numbers. For the Services category, we looked for the quality of services a business provided to teenagers, and if teens actually utilized the business.”
The program enables the commission to acknowledge strides made by local businesses to serve the teen population of Los Altos, Jain added.
“Since many middle and high schoolers often spend time at local businesses after school or on the weekends, it is very special for us to be able to recognize the ones that go above and beyond to cater to the youth,” he said. “The process of selecting our award winners also gives the Youth Commission a great way to connect with local businesses, as visiting, interviewing and reviewing the different candidates gives us the chance to understand these businesses better.”
Allison Carlisle, director of the Los Altos location of AJ Tutoring, said the business is “thrilled” to be receiving one of the Youth Commission’s awards.
“It means so much to us that students in the Los Altos community view our office as a friendly environment in which to learn,” Carlisle said in an email to the Town Crier. “We believe it is incredibly important for students to feel supported and confident in their abilities in order to excel academically. … Thank you for making our jobs fun and rewarding!”
T4 and Baskin-Robbins could not be reached for comment before the Town Crier’s press deadline.
For more information on the Los Altos Youth Commission, visit losaltosca.gov/youthcommission.