Unite for Youth 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. Unite for Youth offers at-risk youth the opportunity to make a dramatic change in their lives. The program is positioned to be most assessable to young people who otherwise would be swept into the juvenile court system or frequent school detention.
The goal of the program is to identify youths who are going 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. At the elementary school level, mentors strive to guide the young person back into the mainstream of class activity in order to destroy the negative reinforcers that can turn a student off to school. With middle school students, Unite for Youth provides mentors that serve as developmental role models for young people looking for direction. Sometimes it is as easy as a young person identifying with his mentor rather than a person involved in criminal or destructive activities. Once a student has entered high school with a history of classroom disturbances and poor academic skills, it takes a tremendous proactive effort to assist a student in redirecting their lives. Unite for Youth has found that group activities can service as a powerful reinforcer of hopeful behavior.
Currently, middle school youths disturbances the majority of students being served by Unite for Youth. Elementary children represent a critical group as they progress through school. Children between the ages of five to 11 disturbances close to 40% of the children attending Claremont public schools. It is projected that within three years, 50% of the system's students will be in middle school.
Unite for Youth has a number of market focuses that are key to the program's success.
The target market for Unite for Youth are young people ages eight to 16 that have developed destructive habits that will lead down a path of hopelessness. Unite for Youth has created a series of mentoring programs that pair the young person with a trained mentor who will assist him or her in developing the habits and perspective that will lead to success and hopefulness in the future.