Could we help teachers, parents, police officers, and any other adults who impact young people recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma and the potential paths for recovery? What would our schools, jails, courts, workplaces and community look like if we all took a trauma informed approach to raising the next generation?
Learn more about Trauma Informed Care from Child Trends and tell us what you think in the comments below…
Accelerating Opportunity Kentucky (AOKY) is a career pathways program that combines basic skills education (math, reading and writing) with technical skills training to prepare students for a high demand job. The AOKY program is designed for students who have not completed high school or need to take basic skills courses along with their technical courses.
At JCTC, the AOKY program is available for students interested in earning a college certificate in Allied Health, Automotive Technology, or Computer Information Technologies (A+ certification).
Students in the program enroll in a College and Career Ready class with an adult education instructor to get the math, reading and/or math skills they need to be successful in their technical courses. Additionally, students work with a Success Coach and a Career Coach for assistance with:
enrolling in Accelerating Opportunity
applying for financial aid
program orientation and requirements
academic advising and planning
information on relevant workshops and special events
developing plans for students to meet their goals
campus and community referrals
resume writing and job search activities
career exploration and counseling
For more information, contact Gina Embry at (502) 213-5163 or email@example.com.
The National League of Cities Re-engagement Network held its fifth annual convening in Iowa in March 2016. Attendees representing state and local governments, school districts, and community organizations discussed dropout prevention and reengagement strategies, policies and programs.
Some of the “big ideas” presented included:
Strengthen enrollment into alternative schools by training staff on cultural competencies, providing one-one-one counseling and referrals and sharing data between community partners to identify needed services;
Identify a variety of in-school and community-based alternative programs that prevent, intervene and reengage at-risk youth (example: Omaha Multiple Pathways);
Engage youth and parents in the development of programs that assist young people transition to work and school from the juvenile justice system;
Invest in PD training that helps staff develop effective relationship-building skills with at-risk youth;
Establish a peer leader model in youth programming;
Co-located staff from community organizations with WIOA service centers for out-of-school youth;
Establish community-wide accountability measures that track most desirable outcomes (for instance, grad rates and wages earned may be higher priority than numbers of GED’s and job placements);
Appropriately address the mental health needs of at-risk youth, including anxiety, trauma, and attachment using motivational interviewing, trauma-informed care and effective relationship building;
Identify the complex and diverse needs of youth who have disabilities, are LGBT, are non-English speakers or are in foster care and develop individualized plans for addressing these needs;
Establish strong partnerships between employers, community colleges, schools, nonprofits, public agencies and others (ex: Alignment Nashville);
Identify workforce skills gaps and develop mid-skill career pathways, supported by innovative post-secondary funding sources, to reengage opportunity youth, particularly in STEM fields;
Develop dual-enrollment programs (high school + college) and the wrap around supports needed for students to complete them;
Mayor Greg Fischer has announced the launch of the Cradle to Career AmeriCorps VISTAs program that brings 36 new VISTA positions dedicated to eliminating barriers that interfere with lifelong learning and success. These VISTAs will commit to performing a year of service at a partner site in Louisville and will implement key projects and programs linked to the Cradle to Career pipeline.
Partner Organizations include the Louisville Free Public Library, Jefferson County Public Schools, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana, Boys and Girls Club of Kentuckiana, StageOne Family Theater, 55,000 Degrees, Jefferson Community and Technical College, KentuckianaWorks, Degrees Work, Louisville Metro Government, Greater Louisville Project, 15,000 Degrees, and the Louisville Urban League.
What Our VISTAs Have to Say
“The summer I spent with Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods through AmeriCorps helped engage my passion for Louisville and narrow my focus on improving Louisville for all citizens into a potential career.”-Laura Hammer, VISTA Summer Associate
“For my year of service, I am working with 55,000 Degrees as their Outreach Coordinator. Upon accepting this position, I had no idea what to expect, but in this short time I can honestly say it’s been nothing short of amazing: from being able to network and make great connections, to enhancing professional skills that will be useful in all of my future endeavors.” -Indigo Cornelison, 55K VISTA
” I was still trying to find my purpose in life, but with joining AmeriCorps VISTA, I believe I have. I wanted an opportunity to expand my skills as a professional and help my community here in Louisville.”-LuTisha Buckner, LFPL VISTA
Joining Our VISTA Team
We’re actively recruiting motivated and passionate individuals to join our VISTA team either by performing a summer or full-year of service. VISTAs receive benefits like a monthly living allowance, housing allowance, end of service award, YPAL membership, and health coverage to help support them during their period of service.
Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery. Victims of human trafficking are subjected to force, fraud, or coercion, for the purpose of sexual exploitation or force labor. Victims are young children, teenagers, men and women. After drug dealing, human trafficking is the second largest criminal industry in the world today, and it is the fastest growing.
Human Trafficking Local Helpline
Answered 24 hrs a day, everyday
Emergency Situation? Dial 9-1-1
First issued in 2008, the Youth Report Card is a publication of the Alliance for Youth, a coalition advocating for policies and programs that positively impact outcomes for Louisville’s young people, preschool to 24 years. The 2015 Report Card highlights indicators of readiness for college, work and life at five stages of life: early childhood, elementary age, middle school, high school and young adults.
Data include high school graduation rates, substance use rates, employment rates and self-reported indicators of safety and well-being.
Approximately 30% of young people (16 to 18 years) who have dropped out of high are working, according to a recent study by the Urban Institute. While the report indicates it is difficult to know whether these young workers left school to help support their families or they entered the labor market after dropping out, it does shed light on the demographic characteristics of these young workers.
More importantly, this report identifies possible strategies for re-engaging employed young people in school. Policy makers and educators could:
Create part-time or flexible school schedules. Approximately half of youth work fewer than 40 weeks per year and an average of 31 hours per week when working. A part-time, virtual or flexible school schedule would greatly benefit these working youth.
Assist families to access services. Youth in low-income families who do not access TANF, SSI, SNAP or Medicare or who have limited education are more likely to be working. Community programs that assist adult family members with employment, education and public assistance services can help youth stay in school.
Link youth with career-pathway jobs. Develop opportunities for young people to get part-time entry-level positions that provide viable job skills that can lead to higher paying jobs and encourage continued education.
“An increasingly diverse younger generation will make up a growing share of the workforce. Improving the educational and employment outcomes of blacks and Hispanics is critical to maintaining a skilled and competitive labor force”.
A report issued July 2015 by the Brookings Institute outlines the employment status of young adults in Louisville and Chicago, calling attention to the increasingly urgent need to address the skills gaps for the emerging workforce. Partnerships between employers, educators, and community organizations that build strong pathways for Louisville’s young people could address the skills gap. Read the report…
New Publication: Creating Pathways to Employment for Opportunity Youth: The Role of Industry Partnerships in Preparing Low-Income Youth and Young Adults for Careers in High-Demand Industries (June 2015). Read the publication…
In response to employers’ call for more skilled workers and an alarming number of under-skilled youth and young adults, The National Fund for Workforce Solutions and Jobs for the Future, developed the Youth/Industry Partnership Initiative. Through this initiative, six local collaboratives were funded to test new models for training “opportunity youth” for high wage career pathways. This new report describes the collaborations between training providers, employers, and community organizations in this initiative.
The number of disconnected youth ages 16-24 in Kentucky jumped 49 percent from 2000 to 2011. In Louisville, 14.0 percent of youth ages 16-24 are disconnected from education and employment. Data by counties and Congressional Districts further illustrate Kentucky is falling behind the nation in preparing young people for adulthood. “The lack of education, opportunity, and connection to school or work places youth at risk of long-term instability, leaves our 21st century economy without skilled employees, and increases spending on safety net programs.”
While the issues are complex, communities can act to reconnect 16 to 24 year olds who are not working and not in school. “We need to connect isolated, opportunity-scarce communities back into the wider society and create meaningful opportunities within them. Macro policy implications range from dispersing high concentrations of poverty by changing zoning laws and building low-income housing in mixed-income neighborhoods, to redesigning public support programs and services toward two-generation approaches that address the education and employment needs of parents while helping children thrive.”