Alternatives For Youth
Program Dates: Mondays and Wednesdays, September through June
Hours: 3:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Age Group: 6th – 9th Grade
As a part of Peace programs, Alternatives for Youth (AFY) is a dynamic middle school program that is specifically designed to help adolescents ages 11-14 at Peace remain focused and have self-determination as they continue on in their teenage lives. AFY youth are able to receive more individualized attention through this program. At the beginning of each AFY program day, the students are provided with a well-balanced meal that many of the children enrolled in the program may not receive at home. As a reward for hard work in AFY, Peace takes participants on monthly trips. While these trips serve as a reward and a social opportunity for the youth participants, it also serves to further educate and expose the youth to expanded views of possibilities for a positive future.
Two additional programs serve to augment the Alternatives for Youth curriculum with social and health topics for gender-specific groups. These two programs, STARS Mentorship for Girls and Rising Sons Mentorship for Boys seek to address the growing needs of adolescents involved in Peace Programs.
STARS Mentorship for Girls
STARS (Sisters Together Achieving Real Success) is designed for girls in the 7th through 9th grades in order to help them develop into self-aware, healthy, self-confident, articulate young women as they navigate through middle school. STARS takes a holistic approach to programming by engaging girls in an exploration of their strengths and their role in the community. STARS helps girls today overcome a myriad of challenges, including gendered societal expectations, negative body-image media messages, and middle school difficulties in order to achieve their personal goals and develop leadership skills. As these attributes are nurtured and supported through STARS, it is the aim of the program that these girls will build a lasting foundation for their transition into young adulthood.
Rising Sons Mentorship for Boys
Rising Sons is designed for middle school-age young men. Youth and mentors attend the meetings which include presentations, sharing of experiences, goal setting, positive interaction, refreshments, and presentations by positive male community members who will share their experiences in diverse career and family backgrounds. Mini workshops take place at Peace throughout the year. Workshops include information on topics including sexuality, the justice system, manhood, and more. Additional activities include field trips, mini workshops, and paired mentorship activities. Paired mentorship activities begin to take place a few months after the onset of the program. Based on common interest, youth and a mentor are paired to spend time together independent of the larger group. They choose to go to lunch, a sports event, or other activities they both enjoy. Paired mentorship activities allow youth to be with a male role model one on one, ask questions, discuss concerns, and simply spend time with a caring male adult.