THRIVE: Identity, Values and Empowerment
The City of Rochester Department of Recreation and Youth Services in collaboration with several community service agencies offers two new youth development after school programs for youth ages 12 to 17. The programs take place at 11 City Community Centers. Both programs provide youth with necessary supports and opportunities to prepare youth for successful adulthood. The City is partnering with the University of Rochester to evaluate the project to learn the most effective ways for adults to help young people engage in positive behaviors. Similar studies are occurring across the country and information obtained from each study is designed to help national and local youth development officials plan for more effective youth services.
THRIVE stands for Teens Helping to Reinvent Identity, Values and Empowerment. It consists of a service learning program that focuses on life skills, volunteering and issues related to the social and emotional health of adolescents. There will be group discussions about values, relationships, sexuality, communication skills, goal-setting and decision-making. These discussions will be youth-lead with certified adult facilitators providing guidance. Participating youth will also complete at least twenty (20) hours of youth-led community service projects.
THRIVE also includes a work readiness program that focuses on the skills and behaviors needed to find and keep a job, including portfolio design, proper behavior in the work place and interviewing skills. There will be group discussions on topics such as building customer service skills, clear and direct communication and tips for landing jobs.
The City’s THRIVE partner agencies are Baden Street Settlement, Charles Settlement House, Community Place of Greater Rochester, Threshold Center for Youth Alternatives and the YWCA of Rochester and Monroe County. The University of Rochester will be an independent evaluator.
The group sessions will last up to 1 ½ hours, held between once a week and once a month. In each program youth will play an active role in deciding what happens, with adult support and supervision. Snacks will be provided during each session and youth will have opportunities to earn incentives.