The BRC’s VOYAGE Initiative, which serves as an acronym for Vision, Opportunity, Youth leadership, Advocacy, Guidance, and Empowerment, was developed to provide a wrap-around service delivery model that encompasses several inter-connected evidence -based positive youth development programs that are all geared toward addressing many risk factors experienced by low-income youth living among continual community violence. Using a Positive Youth Development (PYD) model, the VOYAGE programs focus on providing services and opportunities to support Y.E.Z. youth & families in developing a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and empowerment. VOYAGE aims to involve the entire community in developing a shared vision for the future success of our youth.
VOYAGE includes programming for youth in 1st-12th grades as well as a Community Advocate Outreach model that provides continual support and case management for all VOYAGE participants and their families. The goals of VOYAGE are to provide:
- Academic interventions during out of school time to help close the achievement gap and eliminate summer learning loss
- Opportunities for mentoring to provide social-emotional support and to promote the development of healthy and positive relationships between youth and adults
- Continuous individual case management to youth and families in order to provide wrap around services that address the needs within the homes and to track progress of participants throughout the school year
- Increased opportunities for leadership development among Y.E.Z. youth in order to learn how to advocate for the needs of their community and serve as role models to younger youth
- Opportunities for real-world hands-on experiences on college campuses and on job sites to prepare youth for entering college or the workforce after graduating from high school.
- Opportunities to foster community connectedness, social cohesion, and collective efficacy among youth and adults within the neighborhoods.