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You are here: Home Resources E-Newsletter Archive Spring 2009, Issue III Coming Of Age For Communities

Coming Of Age For Communities

A summary of Journeys' first Grant-Funded program!

Youth today are seeking meaningful experiences to help them transition into the adult world in a safe and healthy way. They need a chance to understand their gifts, be challenged to grow, and find ways to meaningfully contribute to the world. Unhealthy options abound, such as violence, drugs, and early sexuality, causing many youth to get lost along the road to adulthood. Recognizing this crisis facing our nations youth, communities are seeking effective methods to help their young people. Many organizations from around the United States have turned to Journeys for help, including churches, Boys and Girls Clubs, the Washington State Department of Social and Human Services, and the YMCA. Dozens of youth organizations have already applied Journeys’ methods with great success. Journeys frequently receives calls and requests for consulting and training, yet many organizations lack adequate funds to make partnerships possible – especially those serving at-risk youth.

Journeys has expanded as far as it can in serving youth through our summer programs. After an in-depth strategic planning process, the Journeys board and staff determined that the most effective way that Journeys can help increase access to our time-tested healthy youth development curriculum is to share our methods with other organizations, strengthening their ability to serve their own youth in their community.

In November of 2008 Journeys launched the first Coming of Age for Communities program after accepting, through a written application process, five organizations as partners; Tryon Life Community Farm, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound, Impact NW, The Gateway Mountain Center, and Emerson High School (a YouthNet alternative school).  After two group trainings in Seattle and additional individual consulting our partners are on the way to creating new and meaningful programs for the youth in their communities and organizations. Please take a moment to learn more about our partners:


Tryon Life Community Farm, Portland, OR
“Tryon Life Community Farm grows community learning while preserving common green space, restoring native ecosystems, and demonstrating sustainable urban density living.

TLC Farm is located on seven acres of beautiful farmland in Portland, Oregon, surrounded by the 650-acre native forest of Tryon Creek State Park. Both an ecologically important plot of urban agricultural land, and a sustainability education center, TLC Farm has as its primary purposes: outreach and education about sustainable living and agriculture; restoring native ecosystems; integrating arts and the environment; and promoting affordable ecologically responsible living. “


Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound, Seattle, WA
“Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound is a true change agent, committed to our mission to partner with actively involved community members to match caring adults (Bigs) with children (Littles), both of whom benefit from our one-to-one mentoring programs. Mentoring is a proven strategy that changes how our children grow up in America by meeting critical local needs and engaging all levels of community. Our goal is to help children build the attitudes and behaviors needed to stay in school, succeed academically, make healthy choices, and create promising futures.”


ImpactNW, Portland, OR
“Founded in 1966, Portland Impact began as a coalition of Southeast Portland citizens responding to poverty and deteriorating conditions in their neighborhoods.  In its first two decades of service, Portland Impact was a key player in the development of the community's first Senior Center, Youth Service Center, and the first free Neighborhood Health Clinic for the poor.  Other major initiatives include piloting Multnomah County’s first Parent Child Development Services program in 1991 and the Schools Uniting Neighborhoods (SUN) program in 1999.
Portland Impact’s mission is to help people achieve and maintain self-sufficiency and to prevent and alleviate the effects of poverty. “

 

Gateway Center, Truckee, CA
“The Gateway Mountain Center facilitates spirited, adventurous and transformative explorations of the natural world. We work to prepare and inspire tomorrow’s citizens and leaders to envision, create, and support a sustainable relationship between people and the earth’s ecosystems. We foster in our students: wonder and curiosity for the complex and beautiful life forms, patterns, and structures found in nature, intuition for systems and relationships, health and confidence gained from learning the skills to safely explore and adventure in the outdoors, respect for the natural world, teamwork from collaborations in learning, and working through group challenges, and citizenship from sharing new knowledge with others through media, youth symposia, and service learning projects. By creating innovative and successful learning programs we have significant impact on educational relevance and quality, and make a positive contribution towards creating a sustainable society.”


Emerson School, Mount Vernon, WA

“In 1976, Youthnet's Skagit Alternative School first opened its doors to students.   Since that time, this program has provided an alternative high school option to the youth of Skagit County.   In 1993, the students and staff elected to change the name of their school to Emerson High School, to honor Ralph Waldo Emerson and his philosophy on education.  Today, Emerson School continues to offer a unique learning environment that facilitates both academic and personal success.  Emerson’s highly skilled professional teachers and staff are committed to providing a program of instruction that is responsive to the individual needs of each student.

Emerson offers students an environment in which they have the opportunity to learn in a way that utilizes individual strengths.  This coupled with a low teacher-to-student ratio provides Emerson students the opportunity to excel academically and in life.”

Coming of Age for Communities has been funded in part by a grant of the National Recreation Foundation. We hope to continue this program in 2009 – 2010 with a new group of Organizations. Please email us if you know of an organization or if you are part of an organization that would benefit from this significant training opportunity.

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