Today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders. They will shape the future. Yet, many are living in less than ideal circumstances, with limited educational opportunities, employment opportunities, or opportunities for a fresh start when mistakes are made. Many lack a safe place to go. This is happening throughout Orange County of all places. A county with an economy that ranks in the top ten nationwide and has a population greater than over twenty states.
Together, we can level the playing field and provide important opportunities for our youth through Project Youth OCBF’s SHORTSTOP & STOP SHORT of Addiction programs, Higher Education Mentoring Program, Project SELF, Youth Making Proud Choices and Madres Unidas.
SHORTSTOP is a juvenile crime diversion program that offers an evidence-based, cost-effective alternative to prosecution for first-time youth offenders. Through SHORTSTOP, these offenders are offered a second chance at becoming productive members of our County. STOP SHORT of Addiction is a state-certified alcohol and drug intervention program which, like SHORTSTOP, is focused on first-time juvenile offenders. Project Youth OCBF believes the youth participating in the program can be saved and contribute to society, and STOP SHORT of Addiction helps to lead them down the right path.
The Higher Education Mentoring Program provides local, disadvantaged high school students with the academic, social and financial support needed to graduate high school and maximize their higher education potential. Graduates of this program have gone on to such universities as Cal, Yale, Harvard, and nearly every University of California campus.
Project SELF (Summer Employment in Law Firms) offers paid summer internships at local law firms and related businesses to low-income youth. For many, Project SELF provides their first experience in a professional environment and builds skills they can use in the workforce.
YMPC (Youth Making Proud Choices) provides youth with the health education they need to make healthy life choices. The goals are to reduce teen pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, and HIV. Reducing youth substance use and smoking are forefront in this intervention. Madres Unidas provides mothers and fathers with health education that helps them and their family to practice healthier choices. They learn to talk with their children on sensitive health topics and implement their own safer sexual health practices.
Project Youth OCBF serves over 2500 youth and families each year. Year after year it ELEVATES, EDUCATES and EMPOWERS an often-forgotten population through its amazing time-tested programs – forty-one years for SHORTSTOP, twenty-two years for STOP SHORT of ADDICTION, twenty-six years for Project SELF, nineteen years Higher Education Mentoring and over twenty years proving health education to prevent HIV and now celebrating over 50 years of service to an often-marginalized population. The diversity of Project Youth OCBF’s programs, and the commitment of its staff, board, and volunteers are unparalleled thereby leading to in immeasurable impact in our most disadvantaged and vulnerable communities.
Project Youth OCBF will not fail in its mission. Its participants – our youth – are too important. You are invited to join Project Youth OCBF in its quest to ensure that even the most economically challenged youth in Orange County are given a chance to shine and reach their full potential.