YOUTH AT RISK PROGRAM
Westchester County & Hudson Valley, Sponsored by The Brieant Youth Alliance
The Youth at Risk Program sponsored by the Brieant Youth Alliance (BYA) was designed to offer academic, personal development and conflict resolution opportunities to youths during incarceration in Westchester County. The facility that the BYA works with provides short-term, and sometimes long term, placement to court-involved male and female juveniles from Westchester County and throughout the Hudson Valley. Many of the youth placed at these various detention centers have histories of abuse and neglect, substance abuse, mental health challenges and special education needs.
We at the Brieant Youth Alliance believe that life is not a level playing field. Part of growing and learning is trying, failing, picking yourself up and moving on. We feel strongly that it is important for youth to understand that a bad decision does not define your life forever. One of our goals is to help children understand, “I was unimportant. Today, I am now important”. We believe each child has a core of goodness that can be developed to bring out their strengths and leadership capabilities. Whether they become leaders from behind the scenes or in front inspiring others, they can be instrumental in bringing about positive change in their homes and communities.
OVERVIEW OF ACTIVITIES WITHIN THE PROGRAM
Through once or twice a week group and/or one-on-one discussions, our program director provides comprehensive guidance and counseling designed to bring about:
- Personal Understanding
- Increased communication
- Leadership Skills Development
- Understanding of Conflict Resolution Without Violence
- Providing Service to Others
- Working Together as a Group
- Stock market game
- Map reading
- Career opportunities
- Facial recognition
- How to counsel
- Under the new NYS law 17-year-olds are being transferred out of adult jails.
The participants of the program who range from 11 years old to 17 years old are taught the importance of confidentiality, honest participation, not to be afraid to ask questions and that everyone is worthy; to be treated with respect.
Yo God, What the Hell
by Norman H. Fulton
The majority of kids who are incarcerated never stood much of chance from the day they were born. The purpose of this book is to give them a voice and a platform from which they can speak to help them realize their self worth and enable them to help their communities. All net proceeds from the sales of this book will be donated to support kids who are incarcerated.
Class selection for The Youth at Risk Program is decided by the administration of the detention center.
OVERVIEW OF ACTIVITIES
Weekly classroom discussions are on various topics that are geared to preventing juvenile crime. These discussions support and cultivate in each youth a realization of their own intrinsic worth and purpose; opportunities to discover and employ their unique talents and gifts; and the right challenges to forge a strong character that can overcome adversity.