Thursday, September 18, 2014

Program Model

 

The A Future Anticipated Cohorts for Youth are comprised of 8-12 youth in each cohort.  The cohort has three Aliquippa Impact staff members (one cohort leader and two youth workers) who provide support to the cohort.

Cohort Formation
Each cohort is formed from youth are staff comes into contact through referral, community outreach, or our City Camp program.  Young people ages 8-15 are chosen to participate in a cohort based off of a variety of factors including neighborhood of residence, age, risk factors, etc.  The newly formed cohort participates in a retreat to set boundaries, set goals, make memories, and being to bond with one another.  The cohort is eligible to be renewed every year until young people reach age 22.  The cohort serves as a supportive family, source of encouragement and accountability, and gang alternative for young people who participate. 

Staff Support
The three staff members who serve the cohort have two primary roles.  First, these staff members support young people in the cohort by providing hope through a consistent, compassionate presnce and a positive youth development atmosphere.  Second, staff members serve as relational intermediaries to opportunity partnerships.  This provides young people with the hope and relational support they need to take advantage of opportunities, believe in themselves, and become successful.

Peer-to-Peer Leading and Learning
The young people who participate in our program are the true leaders of thier own cohorts.  They each take leadership in the cohort's activities, goals, and support.  By learning and being supported by each other, young people gain confidence in thier own ability to actively contribute positive assets into each other's lives.  The young people in each cohort are truly a family - loving and leading each other.

Goal Setting
The young people in the cohort set their own goals for success.  Youth make purposeful choices to improve their own lives and to make a difference in the world.  With the support of their own peers and Aliquippa Impact staff, young people learn to achieve and celebrate their own success.  Young people participate in three levels of goal setting:

  • Individual Goal Setting - Each year, young people set three personal goals for themselves.  These goals can include academic achievement, skill/hobby mastery, relational skills (such as conflict resolution), or any other personal goal. 
  • Cohort Goal Setting - Each year, the cohort works together to set three group goals.  These goals can include relational dynamics within the cohort itself, group projects, or community service initiatives.
  • Super-ordinate Goal Setting - Each year, all of the cohorts in our program gather together at our annual Dream Summit to set one, over-arching goal to work together to improve the City of Aliquippa in some particular way.

Opportunity Partnerships
Aliquippa Impact maintains a comprehensive list of partners in order to connect our students to opportunities.  By being the relational intermediaries between cohorts and our partners, youth have the opportunity to participate in a wide array of positive youth development opportunities including activities realated to sports, outdoor immersion, art, multi-cultural competency, spiritual development, academic support, job skills, and much more.  These partnerships help to provide the holistic development young people need to succeed.

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