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:
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:
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.
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.