Youth Alive Mission (YAM) is a nonprofit agency providing mentoring programs for middle and high school youth in Uganda. The program will form partnerships with local school districts and the youthful court system. YAM’s goal is to foster a commitment to young people that will promote pro-social friendships, strong interpersonal skills, and reassert a sense of hope in the future. Only through personal relationships can a sense of individual responsibility be reestablished that will give youth the commitment to follow through on path to adulthood with a sense of pride and accomplishment.
Through repeated failures in the classroom and the development of destructive habits, at-risk young people have lost faith in the possibilities that await them if they are successful in putting their lives together. To accomplish this goal, young people must be in a caring, inclusive learning environment that promotes their best effort and reinforces personal respect.
Youth Alive Mission (YAM) is a program that is in direct response to the growing number of young people that are either falling through the cracks at school or are already entangled with the juvenile court system. The goal of the program is to identify youths who are going to have a turbulent transition to adulthood and offer positive support system to avoid the pitfalls that can derail their lives. The focus is slightly different at each level but the goal remains the same; empower the young person to make positive changes in his/her life.
YAM will focus primarily on middle school youths. It is projected that within three years, 50% of the system’s students will be in middle school. This age group is particularly problematic and a perfect time for mentoring to be effective.
YAM’s mentoring programs will pair a youth with mentor for 12 months. During that time the two will participate in weekly planned activities to strengthen the relationship between the two and improve the young person’s confidence and hopefulness. Mentors will receive continuous training throughout the year and will participate in monthly meeting to report the young person’s progress.
Over time, YAM will create a learning environment that will be an invaluable resource to young people, aspiring mentors and the community at large.
YAM is being established to provide mentoring for at risk middle and high school youth in the world. The program will create partnerships with the local school districts and the juvenile court system. Unite for Youth matches a caring adult volunteer with a referred youth. Unite for Youth will setup four distinct mentoring programs:
- Trailblazers: Trailblazers is the central program of Unite for Youth. At risk middle school students and their mentors participate in a structured program of support.
- Turnaround: Turnaround focuses on students who are chronically suspended from middle and high schools.
- Higher Ground: Higher Ground engages youth involved in the juvenile court system.
- Lunch Friends: Lunch Friends works with children from local elementary schools.
- Commitment: YAM wants to inspire pro-social friendships, strong interpersonal skills, and instill a sense of hope in the future.
- Responsibility: The focus of YAM is to empower youth in establishing goals and following through on commitments.
- Possibility: YAM wants to expand the perspective of young people to make them aware of life’s possibilities.
- Support: An individual is dramatically influenced by their support system. YAM wants to surround young people in a caring, inclusive learning environment.
- Establish a strong network of support with the school systems and the youthful court system.
- Launch a series of fundraising activities that will successfully fund the expanding program.
- Establish an effective training program for mentors that will increase their ability to be successful communicators.
- Establish an effective monitoring system to protect both the youth and the mentor.
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