The Low Income Family Stabilization Program:
Each week we provide a community dinner in which participating families eat together, talk about weekly successes, challenges, goals, and/or problems. The program offers family support, individual case management, individual and family counseling and intervention, social and recreational activities, parent support group, conflict resolution/management training, school advocacy support, and trained screened mentors are paired with all youth participants. Services are tailored to address the specific needs of each family, and are “wrapped around” the family to provide any social service support necessary to assist the family in becoming stable, supportive and productive units.
One-on-One Mentoring Program:
Each week girls/boys meet with their mentor for two hours. The mentor/mentee dyads participate in various activities such as sports, cultural events, theater, educational events, etc. The mentors are adult friends to the mentees. The mentees are encouraged to talk to their mentors about any issues that are of concern to them. All volunteer Mentors are fully trained and screened. At-risk youth are motivated and inspired by their mentors. Mentors encourage their mentee by focusing on self esteem building, and self empowerment.
Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents – The Guiding Light Program:
First and foremost, Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents is about establishing healthy mentoring relationships for at-risk youth. Our role is to bring mentors and children with incarcerated parents together and to facilitate quality mentoring relationships.
Our Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents Program makes it possible for many more kids throughout New York State to have mentors, and for many more families to enjoy all the benefits of mentoring.
Children of Incarcerated parents between the ages of 5 to 18 are paired with trained, screened adult mentors. The pair is required to meet for a minimum of four hours per month. The mentor/mentee dyads participate in various activities such as sports, cultural events, theater, educational events, etc. The mentees are encouraged to talk to their mentors about any issues that are of concern to them. All volunteer Mentors are fully trained and screened. Children from 5 – 18 years old are eligible for this program.
Structured gender-specific/age-specific support groups for girls from 10-18 years, integrates relational theory, resiliency practices, and skills training in a specific format designed to increase positive connection, personal and collective strengths, and competence in girls. It aims to counteract social and interpersonal forces that impede girls’ growth and development by promoting an emotionally safe setting and structure within which girls can develop caring relationships and use authentic voices.
Girls Circle groups are held weekly for 1½ hour. Each week the facilitator leads the group of girls through a format that includes each girl taking turns talking and listening to one another respectfully about their concerns and interests. The girls express themselves further through creative or focused activities such as role playing, drama, journaling, poetry, drama, dance, drawing, collage, clay, and so on. Gender specific themes and topics are introduced which relate to the girls’ lives, such as trusting ourselves, friendships, goals, sexuality, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, competition, and decision-making, violence, aggression, etc. Facilitators are trained and certified by Girls Circle, Inc. (Girls’ Circle, 2006). Focus is on self-development, self-esteem building. self empowerment, and self improvement. Facilitators incorporate inspirational and motivational speaking techniques to accomplish the desired outcomes.
Boys Council is a strengths-based group approach to promote boys’ and young men’s safe, strong and healthy passage through pre-teen and adolescent years.
Are you an adult who cares about boys? Boys Council groups encourage boys and young men to: act safely; show respect in their relationships; develop a healthy perspective; see other’s points of view; use good judgment; and find their goals and dreams and pursue them.
Boys Council meets a core developmental need in boys for strong, positive relationships. In this healthy and structured environment, boys and young men gain the vital opportunity to address masculine definitions and behaviors and build their capacities to find their innate value and create good lives, individually and collectively. (Boys Council, 2008).
In Boys Council, boys and young men will:
Experience belonging and connection with adults and peers; Discover the principles they want to live by; Recognize others’ perspectives and experiences; Develop empathic skills; Participate in fun and stimulating activities; Find motivation and courage to act on their principles; Desire to act with self-respect; Find respect for girls and women, and for all those that they perceive as vulnerable; Embrace the power within themselves and within their bonds as a community; Learn to be allies with one another and within all of their relationships; Find restored hope, belief, and skills to live a good life.
A.C.T. on Faith:
Faith based initiative; in excess of 50 faith-based organizations throughout the Lower Hudson Valley and New York City collaborate to effect recruitment of volunteers and to attract men and women of faith to support our mission of creating socially adept, moral young adults. The A.C.T. on Faith program also assists at-risk youth and families in times of need.
The objective of the Academic Academy is to build and improve the skills of reading comprehension, written and oral communication, and social skills by using theme based projects and activities that are creative and fun. The program is offered during after school hours. Participants are elementary through middle school students who are academically at-risk due to various life circumstances. Participation in this program builds protective factors for youth such as: providing supportive networks and social bonds; involving youth in community service; encouraging supportive relationships with caring adults beyond the immediate family; and helping young people to appreciate the unique talents that each person brings to the group.
Parents Support Group:
Because we know that children and teens have more opportunity for success when parents are involved in the mentoring process we have established a parent support group. Our bi-weekly meetings designed to support parents in exchanging ideas and opinions on specific situations/concerns. Through the support group, parents learn new strategies and tactics for promoting healthy, happy relationships with their children. Parents also develop empowerment skills, improve on their communication techniques, and learn to incorporate language that is motivational/inspirational. Special Detail is paid to parents of youth who are at-risk of becoming involved with the criminal justice system.
Designed for working parents who are not able to go to court with their children; for parents who do not feel comfortable attending court; and for parents who do not understand the court system. A.C.T. Inc. is dedicated to ensuring that children and youth never have to go to court without the support of a caring adult. With this commitment, a court advocate will accompany our at-risk youth to their court hearings.
Mentor Networking Group: Mentor support group:
Mentors meet one time per month to exchange ideas and celebrate accomplishments.