Young people are often marginalized, overlooked and ignored. Metro believes in investing in the lives of young people and adults, preparing them for the future. Whether it is helping them to find a job, pairing them up with a role model, taking them on a trip to a museum, helping them with school work, or providing them with a safe place to hang out.
Our programs are based on the premise that perseverance, responsibility, hard work, and hope are timeless principles the next generation needs to overcome life’s challenges.
The ‘I Choose Me’ Mentoring Program
In response to President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper Initiative,” Metro started “I Choose Me,” an innovative community-based mentoring program that provides individual and group based mentoring opportunities for young boys and girls of color.
Its mission is to promote the long-term wellbeing of youth through a comprehensive mentor-focused, family-centered, community-based approach that builds support systems in order to create self-sufficiency. Its mission also reflects the core tenets of the program:
- Youth will choose success though a strong system of support from mentors, peers, family, professionals and community.
- These “supporters” all work together, encouraging youth to avoid justice system involvement.
- Youth will develop and implement long-range plans for success based in attainable careers.
The “I Choose Me” program has been very effective at reducing juvenile justice contact, encouraging empowerment, improving academic achievement, reducing truancy and dropout rates, and promoting positive social behaviors.
At Metro, we have often dreamed of a place where residents, faith-based organizations and nonprofits would work together and wrap support around young people making changes in their lives.
This place where residents faith-based groups and nonprofits come together is called Neighborhood College, where the motto there is “Listen, Learn and Lead.”
Metro’s Neighborhood College program targets youth involved in the juvenile justice system. It promotes positive interventions to reduce recidivism and enhance peer supports. We also help youth succeed in the labor market by providing education and job training that will lead to high school diploma and/or industry-recognized credentials.
Through funding from the Department of Labor, Metro started 12 Neighborhood Colleges across four regions in the United States: Riverside, CA; Fresno, CA; Pima County, AZ, and Atlanta, GA. Services are targeted for youth ages 14-24 who reside in high-poverty, high-crime communities.
Urban Leaders Mentoring Program
Urban Leaders serves youth (ages 8-17) who are impacted by gangs, and additionally may have exposure to crime, drugs, and the justice system. The intent it to provide youth group mentoring activities designed to promote positive role modeling and community involvement. It also promotes the building of local partnerships to support youth in the areas of workforce, education, supportive relationships and personal development.
Metro is currently expanding its mentoring program to also focus on school-based activities, community centered activities.
In light of the virtual environment, activities are held via zoom.
Some of the outcomes of this project include reduced juvenile justice contact, enhanced community safety by decreased drug use, truancy, and other high-risk behaviors.
Metro believes that past transgressions do not determine the future, and that individuals deserve a second chance. Training4Success offers participants the opportunity to increase their employability, sustain credentialed training and industry recognized credentials to increase competitiveness in the workforce, divert justice involvement, and receive assistance in the criminal record expungement process.
Training4Success applies the principles of Transformational Leadership — a four-phase leadership development model – and provides mentoring, community service learning, case management, and employment training.
Pathways works with individuals returning to their communities from incarceration, working to assure alignment with personal, familial and professional needs by connecting with community partners and services that meet individual needs.