92% of youth in the juvenile justice system have experienced at least 1 Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE). That is about 25% higher than the average population. However, the higher the number of ACEs, the more this disparity grows, with about 50% of youth in the juvenile justice system experiencing 4 or more ACEs - compared to just over 10% in the average population.
Adverse Childhood Experiences have been shown to affect both the chemistry and the physiological structure of the developing brain, leading to behavioral, mental, emotional, and physical challenges. However, far too often the main outward manifestation of this impaired brain development is delinquent behavior - and so these youth end up in the juvenile justice system. Over and over and over again.
Fortunately, the affects of childhood trauma can be combated through building resilience - something that many of these youth in the juvenile justice system never have the opportunity to do. That is why we have set out to create a program that is specifically designed to help these youth build resilience through:
1) RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES: Engaging in new recreational activities that will help develop confidence as well as new hobbies and skills that can act as a replacement for addictions and delinquent behaviors.
2) HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP DEVELOPMENT: Engaging in these activities in a controlled environment with mentors and probation-approved peers who can act as positive supports to these youth even after the program is over.
3) DEVELOPING A POSITIVE FUTURE VISION: Engaging in 1:1 mentoring to help the youth identify a positive vision for their future and to learn the tools and skills needed to pursue their goals.
Our program is developed, mentors trained, and youth and court personnel excited! All we need to get this ball rolling and start helping these youth is the funding.
We are ready to launch our 6-month pilot program with 8 youth and 8 mentors. The needed funding breakdown for the entire program is:
Weekly Activities Cost: $2,280
Space Rental: $480
Total = $4,000
Anything you can contribute will not only make a huge difference in the lives of these youth, but also help society as a whole as we help these youth to make a positive difference in their communities.
Thank you so much!
The Encircled About Team