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.