What is Program LIVES?
Program LIVES will work with youth ages 14-17 as they develop crucial life skills necessary to becoming successful adults. The program will commence with a vision board project designed to help the participants identify their values, goals, and the road they need to take in order to reach those goals. From there, Tikkun Long Island staff and volunteers will mentor the youth while teaching them essential life skills. The ultimate goal is to give these children the tools they need to become successful members of society. Program LIVES will provide youth with a sense of belonging and purpose. We strive to inspire the youth we serve, reminding them that anything is possible despite obstacles along the way.
What are the life skills that will be taught?
We teach vital life skills to the youth. These life skills will cover 6 major groups: job skills, money and budgeting, housing, legal issues, health and nutrition, and giving back to the community. Helping young people to develop these life skills will prepare them with the tools necessary to becoming more confident, successful and productive young adults. It helps to connect the youth to their community.
Why should youth devote their time to our program?
When people don't feel like they are a part of the community they live in, when they don't have a niche and a sense of belonging, they fail to respect that community and often times turn to crime. We believe mentoring is a tried and true way of combatting that issue. Program LIVES strives to connect disenfranchised youth to their community, providing them with a vital sense of purpose and belonging. The youth involved in Program LIVES will have a unique opportunity to develop genuine relationships with their peers and program staff. Program LIVES will cultivate a renewed sense of confidence and determination in those involved.
What youth will Program LIVES be working with?
Program LIVES will be working exclusively with Hope For Youth. Hope For Youth operates an array of services for children, youth and families, which span a continuum of care from out-patient clinical and preventive services to foster care, diagnostic and emergency services and other residential programs including our original therapeutic group home program. Hope For Youth serves children as young as six months of age through age twenty-one and families from across the Long Island region. Tikkun Long Island will be working specifically with Hope For Youth's Foster Home Programs. Our program is aimed at teaching vital life skills to those who are approaching the end of the time with the system so we will be primarily working with those aged 14-17.
How do I get involved?
If you are a professional in one of the areas that we will be teaching (job skills, money and budgeting, housing, legal issues, health and nutrition, and giving back to the community) interested in volunteering your expertise to teach an area of our syllabus, please contact us at (631) 316-8865.
Herstory Writers Workshop
Collaboration with Central Islip High School
Starting with the 2013-2014 academic year and continuing as we speak, Tikkun Long Island partnered with the Herstory Writers Workshop for a project called Youth Writing For Justice. The project paired law students from Touro Law School and local practicioners with students from Central Islip High School. The students involved all have family members who are either currently or formerly incarcerated.
The group was led by Erika Duncan, the Executive and Artistic Director for Herstory Writers Workshop and Serena Liguori, the Advocacy and Justice Program Director. All of the students and mentors hard work culminated in a reading which was part of Assemblyman Phil Ramos' Women History Month Celebration which took place on April 2, 2014 at the Bay Shore YMCA Boulton Center.
Does this type of program actually work?
This high profile model of bringing at risk high school students to write on college campuses has been piloted successfully through the criminology and internship programs at Hofstra University (with students coming from Hempstead High School and the Sharing and Caring Diploma Program for Pregnant and Parenting Girls of Long Beach Reach), at SUNY Old Westbury (with students coming from Roosevelt High School), and at Adelphi University (with students coming from Mineola and Cardozo High Schools.
How does the program work?
Youth Writing for Justice brought together law students from Touro Law School and young people from Central Islip High School and built on the growing success of the models already in place by using Herstory Writers Workshop’s time-tested empathy-based approach to create a body of powerful first person testimony meant to sensitive lawyers as to the true lives of the young people whom they will be asked to defend, while inspiring young people impacted by the justice system to go into professions where their voices might help to change hearts, lives and policies.
What is Tikkun Long Island's role?
Tikkun Long Island has a longstanding relationship with Touro Law School and specifically with its William Randolph Hearst Public Advocacy Center. Through this partnership, Touro Law School graciously permits Tikkun Long Island and Herstory to use its facilities to conduct the writing workshops. Tikkun Long Island handles the arrangement of the rooms with Touro Law School and also provides a link between Herstory Writers Workshop and Touro Law School. An additional responsibility is working with Touro Law School to determine which law students should be working with the group. While Herstory Writers Workshop is open to working with like minded passionate individuals, Tikkun Long Island worked to ensure that the law students working with Herstory Writers Workshop had a criminal justice background so that they could help the youths to better understand the system that their family members are caught up in.
What does the future hold for Tikkun and Herstory?
Tikkun Long Island and Herstory Writers Workshop are exploring opportunities to allow the Central Islip students to read their stories. If you have an opportunity you'd like to share with us, please contact us at (631) 316-8865 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, Tikkun Long Island and Herstory Writers Workshop are working to continue this partnership and work with more youths in the near future.
More information about the Herstory Writers Workshop can be found at their official webpage.