Importance of Community Connections: Strategies for Intervention & Prevention

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The importance of community connections is vital for successful at risk youth strategies. Collaboration allows for inclusion, fosters trust and the potential for greater success. A holistic community approach provides support, resources and can draw needed parental involvement. Areas for developing collaborative action will be addressed such as community readiness, conflict resolution, diversity, sustainability, and measuring impact. Service-Learning will be defined along with its positive impacts. Research indicates that service-learning can contribute to academic achievement, reduction of risky behaviors, civic responsibility and provides opportunities for career exploration. A strong component of both is that the “true experts” are involved in the whole process especially in regards to decision-making. It is important for the stakeholders (youth) to be an active part of the process. Youth and community participants often are included in discussions but are not always given the respect and ability to be a part of the decision making process. The most successful community based initiatives are those where young people are included at the decision making table and are empowered to contribute and make decisions that reflect the community needs and improve lives.

Successful programs from East Tennessee will be reviewed. The programs include a school partnership for a positive alternative to suspension, peer mediation and drama programs. A comparison of the East Tennessee community and the Watts District of LA will also be covered. Data and case studies will be provided to support the strategies along with interactive activities to allow for audience participation and a Question and Answer session.


Harborside Center

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