Kathy Du Vernet. (Hand In, Daily Pilot / July 30, 2014)

Kathy Du Vernet, executive director of Youth Employment Service, is retiring from the position after nine years at the helm of the Costa Mesa-based nonprofit.

Vernet, a Laguna Beach resident, said she's proud that her small organization on East 19th Street has been able to adapt to changing community needs. Her last day is Thursday.

YES works with people ages 16 to 24 to help build their career skills and find employment.

"On a personal level, watching the growth of young people who've come through our program has been extremely rewarding," Du Vernet said. "Sometimes people come back when they're really on the path to a great career."

YES board of directors held a small retirement celebration for Du Vernet on Saturday. The organization is still working to find her replacement.

Du Vernet retires after 35 years serving various nonprofits. She said she plans to continue her side job — yoga instructor — as well as travel and write.

— Bradley Zint

Twitter: @bradleyzint