The Leadership Training Program supports youth who are experiencing certain challenges or barriers that could lead to them being involved in the justice system by helping them build the skills and attitudes they need to live a crime-free, self-sufficient life. The program has traditionally kicked off with a three-day wilderness retreat that enables youth to break away from negative influences and stresses in order to begin bonding with FLY staff and peers and developing trust and teamwork skills. (During the pandemic, virtual or socially distanced activities have replaced the retreats.)
Following the retreat, youth meet monthly to support each other in group settings and to design projects in which they advocate for positive change and give back to their communities. Each leadership youth receives intensive coaching from a FLY case manager to identify and address their greatest barriers to living a healthy, productive life.
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.
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.