Author Archives: Kelvin Leonel

ByKelvin Leonel

Personal Testimonies

A mere letter can’t really express how thankful I am for the blessings that have come to me as a direct result of the A Brighter Day Youth Work program and my employment at Safeway.
When I started the customer service training, I had no valuable skills and I had with no direction in my life, but the structure of the program enabled me to get my job at Safeway.
My job at Safeway was challenging, fun, and satisfying all at the same time. Six months into my job the produce manager approached me with a opportunity to become his assistant , I was sure that I wasn’t the right candidate for it and it was almost too good to be true, but I accepted the position and learned so much. Two and a half years later I am a manger with another company.
I am aware that I may be an extreme case, but I believe in the program and the people running it.
Like anything in life, you get out of life what you put into it, but the program has enough breadth of topic to allow many different people to connect with SOMETHING and is just long enough to prepare people to work with employers who have been given realistic expectations.
Thank you, for all you have done.


Juan at age 16, went to Hillcrest due to committing a crime. Before his arrest, he had resided in low income, high crime neighborhood and he was using drugs.
After attending A Brighter Day Youth program, he obtained a job at Safeway as a bagger, and quickly moved up to be a cashier.
A Brighter Day recognized the risks of John working at his local Safeway and placed him at a store outside of his “high crime” neighborhood. John recently reported that he had been approached and offered another job at Foot Locker as an Assistant Manager.
John boasts about A Brighter Day as giving him the life skills, communication abilities, social confidence and customer service skills necessary that are allowing him to continuously succeed.
Thank you A Brighter Day , I can’t thank you enough for everything you did to help me.
I hope the youth choose the right path it’s hard but it’s possible.

ByKelvin Leonel

Program Information

A Brighter Day is a work based program solely for troubled youth who are transitioning out of juvenile hall that fosters genuine life change. Through our ten week mentoring and training program youth are provided with the much needed structure to develop the skills necessary to succeed in a supportive and caring environment.

Our one-on-one mentoring component helps participants gain a clearer picture of his or her interests, likes/dislikes, fears, views on life and situation at home as well as aspirations and future goals; helping guide their future plans.  Participants are also provided with additional programming and connections to resources that helps them build self-esteem, make better choices and improve their ability to succeed.
At the core of the program, youth must be:

  1. willing to work,
  2. amicable to receiving and following instructions,
  3. adhere to their assigned schedule,
  4. respect authority and
  5. willing to learn.

A Brighter Day program offers participants a certificate in customer service from the National Retail Federation. The (NRF) will shape our youths future by building awareness in the industry of customer service and develop skills through education and experiences in retail.

Youth learn proper work etiquette and become skilled at following directions, understanding work environments/cultures and how to interact with co-workers (of all levels, ages and backgrounds) while learning how to receive constructive criticism that helps them to develop soft skills necessary that are transferable across work industries.

Topics and benefits include, but are not limited to:

  • Customer Service Training (social skills, listening abilities)
  • Effective Communication Relationship Building (social skills, relationship building)
  • Putting Your Customer First (social skills, respect for others, conflict resolution)
  • Calming Upset Customers (social skills, conflict resolution)
  • Proper Attire (self-care, social skills, life-skills)
  • Proper Work Etiquette (social skills, respect, time-management, responsibility)
  • Job Training (skill-based, time-management, responsibility, job purpose)
  • Baker’s Training Butcher’s Training Produce Training Seafood Training Dairy Training Frozen Training Deli Training (job-specific skill training, appreciation of various department, following directions)
  • Educational Options – post-secondary/vocational (planning, decision making, goal setting)
  • Developmental Inventory Strategic Planning (planning, assessments)
  • Honestly, Integrity Constructive Criticism (respect, social skills, time-management, prioritization, organization, respect, decision making, conflict resolution)
ByKelvin Leonel

Population Served

A Brighter Day serves youth who are in the San Mateo Juvenile Justice System and reside at one of the County juvenile facilities: Hillcrest, Glen Wood and Girls Camp juvenile hall.

The program targets youth ages 16 and above who are eligible and motivated to obtain employment. The majority of these youth have not had successful life experiences.  Many come from dysfunctional households; and may have experienced physical, sexual and/or emotional abuse.

The majority have some form a Emotional or Learning Disability.  According to the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability, over 80% of youth in the juvenile justice system have emotional disturbances (ED) or learning disabilities (LD). In addition, participants often have past substance abuse as well as involvements with gangs and criminal activities.  These children have extremely poor decision making abilities, social skills and conflict resolution abilities; and may exhibit oppositional and/or other inappropriate behaviors.

Mental health issues (i.e. Anxiety Disorder, Depression, ADHD, Oppositional Disorder, etc.) are common.  Sadly, family support and relationships with positive peers are limited.  As a result, many youth exit the juvenile justice at high risk for recidivism.

ByKelvin Leonel

Mission Statement

Youth involved in the juvenile justice system represent one of the most vulnerable populations in the United States.  According to the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, in 2014, there were over 400 children in the San Mateo County Juvenile Justice System.

Sadly, youth who become involved/entangled in juvenile justice generally have poor transition outcomes related to reintegration and recidivism as these youth may find transitioning from a structured juvenile justice environment to a less-structured mainstream environment to be difficult.

Multiple research has shown the key to preventing youth recidivism is engagement (e.g. involvement in school and/or work); and that youth need an array of support services to succeed.  A Brighter Day work-program offers support, alternatives and structure to youth both while incarcerated and after their departure from juvenile hall, along with follow-up and case management, that helps them “stay on track” once they are exited from the juvenile justice system, thereby ensuring a smooth transition back into society.