Our Approach

Meeting young people and families where they are

Our approach is to connect participants with healthy peers for positive peer reinforcement and to surround them with healthy adults, and a community of care to support them as they navigate their involvement within the criminal justice system.  We understand that change is hard and trust is essential when we challenge young people to make good decisions and try something different which makes them uncomfortable and resistant to change.  Trust allows for difficult conversations that helps young people address their problems head-on with a positive attitude.

Our street outreach workers and mentors serve as a lifeline for young people to support them on their journey, as much as disrupt their negative behavior in a youth-adult partnership.  In this partnership, we incrementally push young people to be in the discomfort of change and see challenges as an opportunity for new growth.

A paradigm shift

of changing one’s mind and outlook on life

Peacemaking Academy

Cultivating peace. Inspiring change.

Transforming criminal justice with community engagement

Key components of our program

Peacemaking Academy Program & Curriculum – we engage young people in leadership development and utilize Peacemaking Circle Process to promote trust, healing, and accountability.

Peacemaking Youth Council/Peer to Peer Mentorship  – we train and coach young people as part of our Peacemaking Youth Council to provide peer to peer support, mentorship, and positive  reinforcement.

Family & Community Engagement – we promote healthy families and help build a Community of Care through hosting monthly Circle gatherings to bring systems, families and communities together to build trust, support each other, and address critical issues.

Unconventional Street Outreach – our Street Outreach are trained in leadership, mentorship, and transformational relationship building to motivate and inspire young people to see change as an opportunity.

Pro-Social Activities – we encourage young people to plan and lead pro-social activities with staff and peers to engage young people socially, physically, and mentally in sports & activities.

Community Organizing – young people leading change through collaboration and community organizing.

Gangsters aren’t born. Gangsters are made.

A gang member is a kid bereft of adult support who then learns to define himself as being outside the community – no guidance, no support. In other words, if it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village turning away to raise a gangster.

Excerpt from news article:
The Gang Star, by Lisa Birk, The Boston Phoenix July 6 – 13, 2000
by Staffer Rikkie Phom, Roca Inc.