GEMS & GENTS Youth Mentoring
The problem that the VYJ GEMS & GENTS Mentoring Program addresses is the severe lack of youth guidance within our culture and an insufficient transition from adolescence to adulthood. The GEMS and GENTS Mentoring Program was developed to address the specific needs of young at-risk & high-risk girls and boys ages 13-18 years old involved in the juvenile court system. The one-on-one mentoring program provides emotional support to mentees with trained and carefully screened adult mentors. The program provides cultural and educational learning experiences for the mentees involved in the program with at least two planned group activities per month. Mentors are also required to provide one-on-one activities with their mentee, with an emphasis on exposing their mentee to activities he or she may not have otherwise participated in on their own. The primary goals of our GEMS & GENTS program is to assist high-risk girls and boys in developing a healthy self-esteem, to provide a supportive adult role model, and to increase their academic performance so that they will realize their potential for a successful life. Achievement of these goals will help to reduce or eliminate any further involvement in the juvenile court system.