Youth who are assessed as being at the highest risk and having the least support are recruited to join the year-long FLY Leadership Training Program. Each youth completes a comprehensive assessment to identify their greatest barriers to living a healthy, productive life. Together with a FLY case manager, who supports them during the entire program year, the youth each create a plan to address these barriers.
The program kicks off with a three-day retreat in the woods where the youth begin building trust, learning the value of teamwork, and developing the confidence to change. Then the youth, now identified as Peer Leaders, meet bi-monthly for social activities and to plan service learning projects in the community where they learn how to identify, build on, and redirect their strengths.
You can see a video of a recent youth service-learning project about homelessness in Santa Clara County at this link:
Leadership was when everything came into perspective for me. My whole thinking changed.
NEW – Career Pathways Navigators
This year, three full-time Career Pathways Navigators—one in each of FLY’s three counties—will work alongside case managers to support FLY’s Leadership Training Program youth, with a primary focus on education and career, and a secondary focus on basic needs. Career Pathways Navigators will promote access to career opportunities, educational resources, and other self-sufficiency tools through coaching and referral/resource connecting.
How Youth Benefit
Two of the most important measures of the success of youth intervention programs like FLY are rates of recidivism (reoffending) and rates of high school graduation. Over the past three years in FLY’s Leadership Training Program:
86% of our youth are not convicted of a new crime during their program year
83% of eligible high school seniors earn their high school diplomas or GEDs
By comparison, national research data shows that without effective intervention, 50% – 80% of youth released from detention will reoffend. It has also been shown that juvenile incarceration can decrease the chances of high school graduation by up to 39%.
How to Make a Referral
Referrals to the Leadership Training Program result from evaluations and assessments by FLY staff of youth but other referrals will be considered. Youth will be required to go through an application and interview process.