We consider all adults who work with children
and youth to be “youth workers.” This includes
teachers, coaches, leaders of after-school activities, mentors,
YMCA and YWCA staff, Boy/Girl Scout leaders, and parents, as well
as those who have been formally trained as youth service workers.
Each of these adults contributes to raising healthy children.
Each of these adults shares a community-wide
responsibility for raising healthy children. A community
that recognizes this collective responsibility, and that attempts
to link all of these resources together, with a common language
and best practices, will be successful in providing a strong foundation
for guiding those children through adolescence to become constructive
members of that community.
Our training strategies are offered to any
individual or organization that educates youth or provides
youth services and support, as well as to parents. Each is developed
in collaboration with the individuals or organizations being served,
and customized to the particular needs of each.
News Report Documents 10 Town Rite Of Passage Experience
Paths to the Year 2000 was a 2-year community mobilization effort to promote positive youth development through rites of passage. The project was funded through the State of Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. The funding category was; Community Mobilization: A program to promote collaboration and build essential skills by focusing on identified community substance abuse problems. The Request for Proposal (RFP) specifically stated that it was seeking ways to put into practice a new paradigm to engage communities in a process for mobilizing their citizens.
Consistent with our orientation it recognized that power, expertise, and leadership reside within the community and that shared responsibility for the creation of teenage substance abuse prevention strategies, through rites of passage, developed from their own vision would be more powerful and long lasting.
Using the framework for youth and community development through rites of passage 10 communities participated in a two-year process of co-learning about rites of passage and co-creating their own culturally sensitive and contextually relevant rite of passage experience. Four times a year representatives from each of the projects participated in day and weekend retreats. This news report focuses on fostering peace and preventing violence, which was a major issue at that particular time. Over 4000 youth and 2800 adults participated in the project.