Youth Development


 

Our Mission

The Mission of the Youth Department is to revolutionize the role of youth in society and to raise their expectations of respect and safety through role modeling, advocacy and education.

We are working towards the time when all youth are treated with respect regardless of religion, race, class, age, gender or sexual orientation.

Our Philosophy

All of our programs are a based on Integrative Youth Development (IYD). IYD is a full spectrum approach that measures the developmental ecology of teenaged youth and young adults. This full spectrum approach to preparing children and teens for success combines decades of research in positive youth development and student achievement/well-being. It is research that supports the common sense knowledge of what people, of all cultures, know and understand about “Helping kids succeed.” IYD is built around the best of the positive youth development research (i.e. Hawkins and Catalano’s Communities that Care, Benson’s Developmental Assets, Kretzman and McNight’s Building Communities from the Inside Out, Peterson’s Rule of Five, Pittman’s Dashboard, Werner’s Children of Kauai, the Positive Youth Development movement, Social Norming, and others).

IYD unites competing programs, professional and personal paradigms and vocabularies, and funding silos within a community to one focus – Helping Kids Succeed. It is brought forth to the community as a “remembering” rather than a new solution from an outside expert. It’s common sense, research based language and frame of reference is used to organize, promote, and measure efforts targeted at children and youth. IYD is an ecological youth development model that incorporates all of the evidence based resiliency frameworks and it offers youth, families, agencies, schools a way to measure the relevance of their work, and to further focus their resources on “what matters and what works.”

What we do

We offer three different categories of programming to youth through life skills workshops, mentoring, and gender-specific support groups. Most of the programs are brought directly to the youth in schools, group homes, or community organizations.  All of our programs are a dynamic integration of Positive Youth Development practices. The youth development framework is an approach to working with young people that encompasses four things: it is designed to meet the developmental needs of youth; it builds on their assets and potential; it views young people as resources and builds partnerships with youth to create positive, sustaining change. No one person, group or organization acting alone can ensure that all youth acquire the assets, skills and support they need to succeed and live their dreams. It takes all of us working together with vision, courage and dedication to help reclaim the futures of the youth in our community.

Youth Advocacy Training

Our programs would not succeed without our awesome of community of volunteer Youth Advocates!  Training starts Saturday, October 5 at 10am and goes to December 7.  Contact us to get signed up.

Contact

If you are interested in our programs or want to find out more information, contact Youth Development Services at  (831) 426-3062 or email us at youthadvocate@wawc.org.