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The future starts today, not tomorrow. -Pope John Paul II


The Girls Empowered to Move Successfully (GEMS) program was developed to help meet the needs of the female juvenile population. Studies show that females are rapidly entering the juvenile justice system. GEMS seeks to address the factors that contribute to the increase in crime among females. Some of the more common risk factors for this population are poverty, low academic performance, teenage pregnancy, and single-parent homes. To address these issues, the GEMS program pairs females enrolled in our school-based programs with a positive female adult role model who builds a relationship with the girl and offers guidance on how to become a responsible, productive citizen of her community.

Gentlemen Excelling and Navigating Towards Success (GENTS) is a mentoring program that allows males to participate in educational workshops, attend cultural events, and conduct community service projects. The goal is to improve self-esteem, leadership, and social skills. The students are also paired with an adult mentor from the community.

Click to fill out an application

Mentor Requirements

  • Must submit to and pass a criminal background check
  • Must be at least 21 years old
  • Must attend mandatory training sessions
  • Must meet with mentee at least 2 times per month
  • Must be willing to continue relationship for up to a year
  • Must be a positive role model
  • Must provide guidance and support to mentee
  • Must have an open mind and have fun!

Mentee Requirements

  • Must be in grades 4th – 12th upon referral
  • Must have parental consent/support
  • Must attend mandatory group sessions
  • Must attend school regularly
  • Must have an open mind and have fun!

VYJ currently has mentoring programs in the following Caddo parish schools

Green Oaks Leadership Academy

Fair Park Leadership Academy

J.S. Clark GEMS & GENTS Mentoring

Huntington Leadership Academy

900 Jordan Street   Suite 102   Shreveport, Louisiana 71101   318-425-4413

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