Bureau of Youth Services

Bureau of Youth Services 


Youth Development Services

Summer of Opportunity Program (SOOP)
Open to youth ages 14-20
SOOP is a summer employment placement and training program designed to connect high school youth with local employment opportunities and expose participants to the basic skills necessary for career success. For more information, visit

Youth Employment TrainingGirlOnPhone
Open to youth ages 14-18
Youth Employment Training prepares high school students for employment through an intensive 20 hour, job-readiness boot camp. Participants receive employment training and opportunities for subsidized, year round job placement, and graduate with a portfolio, resulting in increased employability.  For more information visit: www.cityofrochester.gov/soop. 

Rise Youth Leadership Team
SOAR Youth Leadership Team is comprised of 13-18-year-old youth from the community that meet weekly to receive leadership training, self-development tools and increase knowledge & awareness around sexual health. The team is trained in the SOAR education curriculum for the purpose of co-facilitating education programming as peer educators. Participants will engage in activities to explore their future goals in areas ranging from career and college exploration to public speaking and life skills. The SOAR Youth Leadership Team members gain knowledge, experience, and direction to aid in their personal development by facilitating teaching of the curriculum to other students, participating in speaking engagements at tabling events, and participating in College Tours and panel discussions. The SOAR Youth Leadership team is continuously working toward improving their lives and the lives of the youth in their community. For more information, contact 428-8878 or email RISE@cityofrochester.gov

 Rise Education
SOAR implements two NYS Evidence-Based education programs, “Be Proud!” “Be Responsible!” and “Making Proud Choices”. “Making Proud Choices” is an eight-part curriculum for youth ages 11-13 that helps to provide the knowledge, confidence, and skills necessary to reduce their risk of sexually transmitted disease (STDs), HIV and pregnancy by abstaining from sex or using condoms if they choose to have sex. “Be Proud!” “Be Responsible!” is a six-part curriculum that provides adolescents ages 13-18 with the knowledge, motivation, and skills necessary to choose the best behaviors to reduce their risk of pregnancy or contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Both curriculums are based in a foundation of building positive self-image, developing leadership skills and mapping out a course for a successful future through planning and healthy choices. The curriculum is delivered by our trained health educators within Rochester City School District classrooms as well as groups, teams and throughout our partnering agencies city-wide. For more information, contact 428-8877 or email RISE@cityofrochester.gov


THRIVE Forward

The City of Rochester Department of Recreation and Youth Services in collaboration with several community service agencies offers youth development for youth ages 11 to 19 through our THRIVE Forward program, THRIVE stands for Teens Helping to Reinvent Identity, Values, and Empowerment. The program takes place at various R-Centers and schools throughout the City of Rochester.

THRIVE Forward provides evidence based workshops highlighting life skills, sex education, and peer leadership. Workshops encourage youth led discussions with certified adult facilitators about values, relationships, sexuality, communication skills, goal setting, and decision making. Participating youth will also have the opportunity to serve their community through service learning projects.

Participating youth receive incentives, attend field trips, and may qualify for our annual college tour. THRIVE also includes a work readiness program that focuses on the skills and behaviors needed to find and keep a job, including portfolio design, public speaking, proper behavior in the work place, interviewing skills, text, and internet etiquette.

Depending on location, group sessions will last up to 1 ½ hours. For more information, contact Ruby Melendez at 428-5994 or email THRIVE@cityofrochester.gov



Learn musical skill, technique and how to play a variety of string and bass instruments.  Youth who have participated in the ROCmusic program or have played an instrument for a year, are invited to apply for the ROCmusic Summer Academy to build on their current level of musical skill and technique.  Youth in grades 1-12. For more information, contact email Armand.Hall@cityofrochester.gov