It is said that the period of adolescence is one of the most crucial times in a person’s life. Apart from physical growth, it also involves a lot of mental development and crucial life decisions. Although there are other crucial moments in a person’s life, the period of adolescence is very important because it is the first one most people encounter and it spans several years.

Teenagers often make decisions on their own, and sometimes, they end up making very wrong ones that affect their lives as adults and their communities as a whole. However, it is important to guide these young people as much as possible, the kind of guidance that will liberate their minds and enable them to live full lives as responsible adults.

That is why several programs have been created to equip teens with the tools and skills required to be more independent and prepare them for the world. Some of these programs are indigenous to certain locations while others have multiple branches. For example, Zutobi’s California permit practice test provides teenagers in the state with a free, more efficient method of studying for their DMV test by eliminating the need to cram the DMV driver’s manual which is voluminous. Some other programs include:

YES! Sí Se Puede

YES! Sí Se Puede is a program organized by the Youth Empowerment Program for Hispanic youth (10-16 years) from Hamilton middle school in Long Beach, California. The program was created because of the high rate of poverty among Hispanic families in the region.

Although admission is for 34 people at a time, it is an intensive, hands-on program designed to create cultural awareness and build the participants physically and academically. The program also aims to raise the standard and quality of life of the Hispanic families in that region.

K4L Project

Krunked for Life (K4L) is an all-boys empowerment program that was created for 30 young men in Dayton Ohio. Even with a population of 140,000 people, Dayton Ohio has a very high crime rate, high enough to rank 20th on the FBI’s list. Due to this fact, most of the young men in Dayton grow up with a bad orientation and even worse role models.

K4L aims to turn these young men away from a life of crime by enlightening them and making entrepreneurs out of them. The tools that the organization works with include: academics, positive music, and movies.

Eyes Initiative

The Empowering Youth to Excel and Succeed (EYES) aims to help adolescents in Central Brooklyn, New York make positive changes in their life. Central Brooklyn is a hub that is known for crime, drugs, and morbid obesity. The locale is also known for its very low income. About 80%of the young people in Central Brooklyn have been placed on income assistance. Hence, these are the primary issues that EYES tackles in these young people.

After school, they get to attend the program where they learn Math, fitness, and ways to take responsibility for their future. It is important to note that these tools have been bearing fruit. For instance, EYES have recorded an average of 15-pound weight loss in their charges.

Several other programs have been created for teenagers all over the country and the world. Although these programs often follow different routines, their purpose is still the same, that is, to help the youth be more independent. Apart from academics, they teach teenagers skills like time management skills, self-awareness, social skills, and domestic independence.

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Lauren Sanchez - Author

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