Center for Youth and Family Advocacy has launched the “Guiding Personal Success” (GPS) initiative. GPS seeks to provide economically-disadvantaged young people with access to opportunities needed to reach their full potential and to experience optimal well-being. This multi-phase program endeavors to prevent juvenile justice involvement by providing multi-generational assistance (i.e., to both the young person and caretaker) early in the child’s life. GPS includes
1. Educational enrichment to stimulate opportunities for the young person and bolster the child’s commitment to learning;
2. Recreational opportunities that enable the young person to have positive peer-to-peer relationships and relationships with trusted adults in the community;
3. Pro-social community involvement that empowers the young person to serve and feel valued by the community;
4. Life skills training to facilitate good planning and decisionmaking and to promote a sense of personal power (self-determination);
5. Consultation services and connection to resources for the young person and his/her family;
6. Mentorship opportunities to provide additional supportive nonparent adult relationships that further model positive behavior and create opportunities for experiential learning;
7. Social justice training to empower the young person to know and exercise his/her rights and to nurture positive self-identity.
Research shows that poverty is a significant factor in a child’s involvement with the legal system. GPS promotes equitable outcomes by supporting each cohort through their matriculation in Arlington Public Schools from 5th grade to graduation. When a cohort of students is selected in 5th grade, the student and his/her family will be provided educational enrichment, mentorship, and other services to equal the playing field and promote healthy outcomes. As the student progresses through school (i.e., middle and high), each student will receive age-appropriate opportunities for post-graduation success. The GPS initiative shall commence its initial cohort during the start of the 2020-21 academic year.
CYFA is partnering with other local nonprofits and experts to create and implement the GPS initiative. Such collaborative efforts promote holistic intervention and build capacity.
Please join us in this important work and support the initial cohort in September 2020. We hope that we can count on your support: https://cyfadvocacy.org/donate/.