We provide youth with a variety of vocational and financial literacy courses to help prepare them for the world of work. Our programs are geared specifically to help youth get and retain jobs. We begin by assessing the youth’s life skills, career interests, and reading and math skills. Our curriculum, which follows these assessments, includes life skills and academic supports, as well as training in financial literacy and money management, résumé and interviewing skills, videotaped mock interview, and other job preparation activities. After completing an individualized learning program, youth are placed at a community job site to learn further employment skills in a real working environment. We also provide communication techniques, stress reduction, anger management, and other skills to enhance employability and responsibility.
We provide a broad array of specialized educational supports and services designed specifically to help the juvenile justice population set individualized educational goals and identify the best strategies to achieve these. Most notably, our long-standing relationships with all of the schools in the greater New Haven region help our youth enter or re-enter the public school systems with as much ease as possible. Services provided through YC’s MacMullen Education, Training & Enrichment Center help young adults obtain their GED, college credits, or a degree from a trade school.
Responsibility and Restorative Justice
Youth participate in ongoing volunteer projects such as community clean-up and Food Bank assistance, and also offers planned activities including gender-specific groups, meals/cooking, sports, and cultural celebrations. As each youth’s social and communication skills develop, s/he is encouraged to co-facilitate groups alongside staff. In addition, F.R.E.E. also encourages youth to participate in program development and decision-making around rules/policies, helping build self-esteem and leadership qualities. Providing youth with meaningful community and program involvement empowers youth and helps them become critical thinkers and decision-makers.
F.R.E.E. Fostering Responsibility, Education and Employment
The F.R.E.E. program serves justice-involved youth ages 14-20 who are re-entering the community from a Juvenile Justice program. Our F.R.E.E. program is located in New Haven. For more information about referrals or program details, contact our F.R.E.E. Program Coordinator, Patricia Jenkins-Simmons