The Youth Assist Program (YAP) provides pro-social activities and individual mentoring for at-risk youth in our community. Participants are often living in remote sections of the county and/or have very limited resources, few social and developmental supports, and no transportation. These at-risk youth often lack the necessary confidence and assertiveness required to independently seek out and participate in healthy, pro-social activities. Many lack financial resources to engage in these activities and are unlikely to participate without the guidance, support and direct involvement of a trusted adult. Research shows that youth participating in pro-social activities and experiencing bonded relationships with healthy adults display a reduced risk of engaging in harmful, self-defeating behaviors (reduced risk factors). Positive activities greatly increase youth’s ability to resist negative peer pressure, as well as improve their potential for success in school, relationships with others, and raise self-esteem (increased protective factors).
A mom wanted an opportunity for her daughter to get out into the community and be around positive role models while mom works evenings. We knew Compass would be a great fit. The daughter has struggled in school and has difficulty making friends. She was changing schools and nervous about the transition. Over the last two semesters, staff and college mentors have watched this youth become much more confident and less self-conscious about appearance. She has grown so much with the support of our program and the opportunity to get out of the house and come to a place on Tuesday evenings where she feels comfortable to be herself.