(School-Based Mentoring & Gang Reduction Youth Development)
Our violence prevention efforts focus on positive youth development in schools and communities. Our school-based mentoring services focus on student conflicts, bullying, gang prevention, and disciplinary incidents by providing counseling, conflict mediation, and other support services.
With support from L.A. City's GRYD (Gang Reduction & Youth Development) office, we provide youth development and family engagement services in Watts and Gardena.
Our approach recognizes, utilizes, and enhances youths' strengths and promotes positive outcomes for young people by providing opportunities, fostering positive relationships, and furnishing the support needed to create stronger families.
Youth development has its origins in the field of prevention. In the past, prevention efforts typically focused on single problems before they surfaced in youth, such as teen pregnancy, substance abuse, bullying, and juvenile delinquency.
Over time, practitioners, policymakers, funders, and researchers determined that promoting positive asset building and considering young people as resources were critical strategies. As a result, the youth development field began examining the role of resiliency—the protective factors in a young person's environment—and how these factors could influence one's ability to overcome adversity. Those factors included but were not limited to: family support, positive role models, positive peer groups, strong self-image and self-esteem, engagement in school and community activities.
Researchers and practitioners began to report that young people possessing a diverse set of protective factors can, in fact, experience more positive outcomes. These findings encouraged the development of interventions and programs that reduced risks and also strengthened protective factors. These programs and interventions are strengthened when they involve and engage youth as equal partners, ultimately providing benefits both for the program and for the involved youth.