This is a mentoring program for at risk youth, that pairs youth with adult mentors in order to assist the youth in becoming productive citizens. Mentors meet with youth one on one guiding them in the right direction
The Youth Serve program focuses primarily on youth who are of middle and early high school age. This age group is particularly problematic and a perfect time for mentoring to be effective. At-risk young people have lost faith in the possibilities that await them if they are successful in putting their lives together. Youth Serve is here to restore that hope.
Component #1: Outreach:
Kids don't generally trust adults or come to them for help, so we need to reach out to them. Outreach is going where kids are, getting their attention, and earning their trust. It’s all about meeting kids on their terms in their own territory instead of sitting in an office and waiting for them to come to you.
To put it simply, outreach is going to kids and making yourself available to them. We are present at several events in the community throughout the year offering youth and their families services. In addition, we hold events throughout the year in public places to reach youth.
In the future, we hope to have outreach teams going into the community to provide youth on the streets with resources.
Component #2: Prevention:
Most kids have one major problem: being bored and having nothing to do. This can lead to crime, drug abuse, and other issues. If a kid is bored with nothing to do, chances are they will fill their time with negative things. Prevention is making sure kids do not get into trouble to begin with.
We operate a drop-in center for teens after school keeping kids safe, off the streets, and out of trouble. In addition, the teen center also hosts many special events and activities for youth to enjoy beyond the normal service hours of the youth center.
Prevention is also about helping kids who are already at risk of getting in trouble. Studies have shown certain populations of young people are at higher risk then others of getting into trouble.
YHM Teen Centers provides a mentoring program of individualized attention for at risk young people to ensure they stay on the right path to preserve their future
Component #3: Intervention:
Some Kids need an extra helping hand in life. We believe no kid is beyond help, but many kids fall through the cracks in the system and never get the help they need to get them out of trouble. Intervention is stepping in and helping kids who are already in some sort of trouble, or kids who just need an extra helping hand. It is help on a one on one basis for kids who need it.
Through partnerships with other agencies we offer weekly life skills groups, monthly workshops, and mental health services to make a difference in kid’s lives who need an extra level of care to be able to turn their lives around and succeed. We also provide life coaching for youth who just need some extra guidance but are not seeking professional help.
Component #4: Education:
Today’s schools can be a rough place. Students today face obstacles we never even dreamed about growing up. For kids who are struggling in school or don’t fit into a traditional school environment, we offer an alternative the provides hope. Through our partnership with Dream Academy schools we offer a blended learning program where youth can work online as well as get one on one help completing their school- work. This program enables youth to get back on track and complete their education.
"How do I get a license, change a tire, shop, find a job, open a bank account, or get credit?" In today's fast paced society sometimes, kids lack anybody to answer these basic questions. They need help to become successful in their transition into adulthood and make the most of their future. This is education that prepares youth for the future.
Our “adulting” or independent living classes and workshops offer young and young adults that “how to” of life teaching them the basics of how to live on their own.
Component #5: Support:
Kids might go to programs, but they also want to know adults care. Support is keeping touch with youth before and after scheduled events to show them you care. It also includes linking kids together so they can form their own positive support networks, without having to rely on adults.
Our staff at the youth center is there for youth while they are at the center to support them, but we also have our own social media app to communicate and support youth even when the youth center is closed. Finally, the youth center has student led clubs that provide a network of peer support for the kids who attend.
In the future, we hope to have a special website for youth as well as a crisis hotline for youth to be able to call and get support.
Component #6: Leadership:
Most youth today are distant from adults and often distrust anyone with authority. Even if help is offered by an adult, youth are often unwilling to trust anyone with their personal problems, especially someone in authority. Kids spend most of their time around their friends who hold this place of trust in their lives and exert a huge influence over them. Youth can best be reached by their own peers. The biggest opportunity to make a difference in the lives of youth comes from enabling youth to reach out to one another and provide positive leadership to their peers. Recognizing this we train and equips youth to reach their peers.
We have a youth leadership team that provides programming advice, serves as mentors to other youth coming into the center, and provides help to other youth.
Component #7: Inspiration:
Each kid needs one thing: Hope, hope in this life and in the one to come. Hope that their life is valuable and that they are worth something. They need hope in a power greater than themselves to get them through life and inspire them to become their best that they can be. This is where Ministry comes in.