Transforming lives and futures of youth at Yerba Buena & Overfelt High Schools.
Bright Future reduces high school dropout rates of disadvantaged youth by focusing on the core internal and external issues that hold them back from academic and personal success. The service delivery team is comprised of paid staff, community volunteers, adult mentors, and youth peer mentors. The program’s approach is based on a highly effective Youth at Risk Community-Mentoring intervention model which requires annual training and a rigorous certification process.
The model integrates six program components designed to build youth’s assets and gives them opportunities to use their newfound knowledge and skills to help other youth overcome similar challenges. Through life skills workshops, mentoring, coaching and positive caring relationships, Bright Future assists youth develop the internal motivation to embrace positive change for themselves, not because others have told them they need to change.
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Working in partnership with San José BEST, Mayor’s Gang Prevention Task Force (MGPTF), County of Santa Clara Probation Department, ConXión offers a number of programs designed to provide youth with the structure and support they need to avoid continued or future delinquent behavior. Per Title II of the JJDPA, these are programs for positive youth development that assist delinquent and other at-risk youth in obtaining:
(1) a sense of safety and structure;
(2) a sense of belonging and membership;
(3) a sense of self-worth and social contribution;
(4) a sense of independence and control over one’s life; and
(5) a sense of closeness in interpersonal relationships.
These programs include:
• Violence Reduction Program, Pro-Social Activities Providing probation youth with activities that engage positive behavior which distracts from negative situations and outcomes.
• San Jose BEST Vision Provides high-risk and gang impacted youth with educational
alternatives, i.e., pre-GED and GED test preparation.
• Youth Employment Service (YES) Provides high-risk and gang impacted youth ages 14-24 with work readiness workshops, ServSafe Certification, and employment placement assistance.
• Ranch Reentry Provides young people exiting the James Boys Ranch with community-based, educational, vocational, and employment opportunities.
• Mentorship A mentor is a special kind of person who works with youth in a positive,
constructive way so that both mentor and mentee have the potential to grow through the
relationship. Youth are matched with a caring adult for a minimum period of one year.
El Joven Noble is a character development and wellness program intended for young men
to learn the ability to act in a responsible and respectful way. The central theme of the
program is character development through “Palabra”–young men learn to honor their word in
preparation toward becoming an adult. The curriculum also includes a peer health education
model focused on preventing substance abuse, violence and unwanted pregnancy. The curriculum is culturally competent and draws from Latino and Native American cultural values and practices, which include drumming, poetry and traditional healing techniques to teach young men about how to better understand their bodies and emotions as they progress toward manhood. Each session of “El Joven Noble” is facilitated by at least one Latino male adult mentor. The program is delivered in ten (10) sessions that range from sixty minutes to two hours in length. The full program ends in a celebration where young men are acknowledged in an appropriate way for their commitment to themselves and the completion of the program.
The Digital Connectors curriculum, developed and licensed by its corporate partner Comcast, teaches basic digital media literacy skills to youth through a series of hands-on, interactive
modules designed to explore their creativity while they learn character building and life
skills. This on-site classes is offered two weekday evenings from 4:30 – 7 p.m. with an open
computer lab available on one additional day during the week for students to work on their
self-paced projects. Participants will complete media and/or social media education/awareness projects incorporating substance-free themes or messages.
Digital Connectors Program gives youth the opportunity to learn technical computer skills in
the context of life skills. Using a highly interactive model curriculum, youth learn to use computers, applications, and the internet, while engaging in community projects involving digital literacy. The core competencies of the Comcast-certified curriculum are: Leadership and Diversity, Personal Development, Workforce Development, Financial Literacy, Community Mapping, Digital Literacy, Hardware and Networks, Software and Programming, Media Production and Civic Journalism, Environment and Sustainability, and Service and Global Citizenry.