Adulting is Life Skills series that prepares young adults and older age teens for the next steps in life. We work to develop an action plan for each person that is realistic for their situation. Some youth receive assistance with essay writing, scholarship, FASFA and college applications. Adulting workshops include budgeting, healthy eating, healthy life choices, introduction to trades. We also discuss other life skills topics that are often not taught to disadvantage youth, such as understanding a lease, new job benefits packages and form completions, and managing your reputation publicly and on social media. All our programs promote social justice, equality, and acceptance of all people without bias or discrimination.
Outside The Bars is immensely proud of the young people who were mentored through their challenges and have matriculated to college, careers, and trade schools. This is a great accomplishment for the organization because we work to change the narrative regarding high school completions for children with incarcerated parents. Through the process we focus on keeping children engaged in the learning process when students struggle to connect the importance of education and their survival. We have three students who are currently college first-year students, two who have attended a trade school and others have employment and are not involved with negative behaviors in the street.
Think It Through, is a therapeutic support service where youth have one to one mentoring, peer support groups, and art expression. Think It Through is a space where individuals impacted by parental incarceration can freely express their emotions and thoughts with others that know exactly how it feels to be sentenced outside bars. Think it Through is a guided conversation that builds social-emotional awareness, helps individuals cope with their new norm, and find a healthy way to express their emotions. Think It Through addresses negative behaviors that are presenting and causing young people to be less successful.
Speak Out is where we are working with our young people to provide a platform for advocacy. Speak Out gives young people an opportunity to share their opinions about the issues they encounter that are discriminatory or socially unjust. Through Speak Out individuals can earn stipends through focus groups, opinion polls, and learn to host community action meetings. Community meetings are a process where young people develop leadership skills in the process of planning, organizing, and hosting collective actions to make changes in their community, local and state policies. Community meetings are also a platform that provides a venue for the exchange of resources and a place where youth can expose other youth to positive methods of how to make a societal change in a nonviolent, minimal risk manner. Information collected from Speak Out initiatives is shared with politicians in the community to drive action toward changes in House and Senate bills and other OTB projects.