Ph: 941-201-6994 Since 2015
Our Teen Services is a comprehensive prevention program for at risk youth ages 13-17 that balances teen interest activities with essential leadership development training, character education, self-awareness, guidance in planning for future success to deter teens from participating in risky behaviors that lead to substance abuse, teen pregnancy, academic failure, drop out, violence, crime or incarceration.
The program includes interest based and prevention activities including athletics, field trips, arts, music, dance, theatre STEM, open talk, tutoring, mentoring, Financial Development(Finances, Budgeting, Budget Growth, Preparing your finances for the future, Income and expense), Post-Secondary Education Management(Choosing the right College, College Shadowing, Transition to college life, Collegiate success), Employment and Career Development using Baltimore Pipeline Curriculum(Employability, Job Applications, Resume, Interviews, Professionalism, Keys to success , Choosing the right Career), Life Skills Management(Stress Management, Time management, Self-Defense, making good choices, Dating, maintaining a healthy relationship, teen pregnancy for males, Personal Safety -protect your personal information, Wellness and Nutrition), POSITIVE FUTURES (reduce factors related to alcohol, tobacco and other drug use), NEXT STEP(Reading Skills, Leadership Development, Healthy Lifestyles, teen pregnancy, Computer Skills, FCAT/SAT Preparedness).
The Program has various guest speakers, special events and open mic groups where teens can openly talk and is designed to attract teens by offering interest based activities that appeal to them, offer a safe place to appropriately socialize and have fun with the goal of promoting self-sufficiency through interactive prevention components that provide youth the opportunity to make gains in academic areas, enhance their employability skills, improve their knowledge of the community, increase their attendance, participation in classwork, their interest, moral and overall vigor towards learning and life. Lack of teen resources/services has been identified as an educational, social and juvenile justice issue linked to many problem behaviors in adolescence, school failure, dropout, teen pregnancy, substance abuse, juvenile delinquency, violence and crime. With 126 live births, 40% of teens drinking, 139 youth charged with violent offenses, 1,847 youth referrals for delinquency, school suspensions at 22%, only 50% of 8th and 10th graders on grade level, over 7% not being promoted, a dropout rate of 1.8% and 222 youth in out of home placements (FLDOE, FL.Charts, DJJ, OJJDP, MCSB, ESRI, CENSUS), teen services are essential to prepare youth through leadership development training, character education, self-awareness, guidance in planning for future success /career exploration as well as model important elements of life like integrity, work ethics, grooming, communication skills, team work, conflict resolution and not participating in risky behaviors.
The primary objective is to empower teens to utilize all available resources which support their academic success and community involvement, to help reduce youth drop-out, risky behaviors, and bullying, to incorporate leadership development, positive mentorship, encourage entrepreneurship and innovative learning experiences while making learning real with the opportunity for students to express their interests and talents.
We believe in a holistic approach when addressing the needs of the community, we concentrate on the achievement gap for at-risk, economically disadvantaged teens and address two main goals, including: improved academic performance and family involvement. The intended outcomes include: improvement in completion of homework assignments, improvement in math and reading skills, increased participation in teen’s academic lives by family members; and an increased dedication to school and motivation to remain in school. To administer pre, interim, and post assessments based on each teen’s identified needs. Create an individualized teen learning plan based on weaknesses identified in assessments to include academic, community, and family. To improve standardized test scores or academic subject area achievement.
Parents will be provided special trainings, such as parenting skills, advocacy tips, communication skills, and other skills helpful to enhance their child’s education. Family involvement will be fostered by participation in monthly Family Nights, during which families will engage in cooperative themed activities, and PTO participation.
Our efforts for inclusion and diverse populations are comprehensive. We utilize “Not in My School” program which seeks to address substance use and violence problems within our schools, including the issue of bullying. These acts can be socially, emotionally, or physically damaging in nature. We couple this with “Stand- up Speak Out” designed specifically for middle school students to help them by teaching and practicing protective and coping skills, to make good choices, socially responsible decisions and stay engaged in school.
Our inclusion efforts include “More Alike than Different” a hands-on, interactive awareness, education, sensitivity, and anti-bullying training program provided to typical, non-disabled peers in middle school. Its goal is to help foster understanding of the unique needs and similarities of individuals with disabilities and special needs. In this way, it can create new friendships and learning experiences for all children, encourage children to be more sensitive and accepting, and reduce the risk of harassment, bullying, and isolation of children who appear to be different. We create positive and interactive experiences.
Addressing the trappings of teen culture might get them in the door but it is not enough to keep them engaged. We ensure that the experience in the program is engaging we ask “Is this fun? Is this relevant for them? Are we treating them as if they’re mature?” Are the adults that are working with them being authentic? With this in mind, we are intentional about including programs that will provide positive experiences for youth, hiring staff teens can relate to and supporting a culture of mutual respect between teens and youth.
We rely on personal contacts to encourage youth to participate and a climate that is respectful of teens and teen culture. We include teens in allowing teens to help set ground rules for behavior; being honest and straightforward about expectations; treating teen with “the same consideration and respect that they (staff) wish to be treated with”; managing behavior without yelling; and striving to provide top-notch activities, well-trained staff and proper resources/materials.