LOS ANGELES BROTHERHOOD CRUSADE INC Overview
The Brotherhood Crusade Youth Development Program serves as the flagship initiative of the Brotherhood Crusade Community and Economic Development 10-Year Plan. An astounding 35% (350,000 out of 1,000,000 residents) of the population in South Los Angeles is comprised of children under the age of 18, which is the highest concentration of children and youth in Los Angeles County by far and nearly triples the concentration in some regions of the County. Given this disproportionate predominance of children and youth, it was determined that by focusing on meeting the unmet needs of youth (which includes addressing the needs of their families and circles of influence) we could significantly impact 91% of the community.
Although Brotherhood Crusade has provided individual components of the program for several years, we pilot tested the Youth Development Program as a comprehensive, coordinated and highly-focused model in September of 2007 and fully launched the first phase of the Program in September of 2009. Currently, under this model, more than 1,400 high-risk youth are served annually with 300 receiving intensive daily services.
Five youth-centered goals guide the Youth Development Program, all of which were developed to achieve our ultimate goal of ensuring that every South Los Angeles youth is provided opportunities to succeed in school and in life.
Our Youth Development Program goals are as follows:
Goal 1: Ensure youth have strong and positive role models in their lives.
Goal 2: Improve the academic performance of youth and their families.
Goal 3: Improve socio-cognitive and relationship skills of youth and their families.
Goal 4: Improve the health outcomes of youth and their families.
Goal 5: Improve access to safe pro-social environments and basic services.
Every youth enrolled in Brotherhood Crusade’s year-round youth development programs is comprehensively assessed academically, socio-behaviorally, and physically prior to enrollment. An individual plan is prepared for all participants that outlines their needs in each of these areas. Participants then receive free remedial education, academic assistance, educational enrichment, mental health, physical fitness & nutrition, and comprehensive health (for them and their families regardless of financial or legal status) services. As a result, program participants have increased their academic proficiency by 132% on average and reduced their incidents of tardiness, truancy, crime, delinquency, and inappropriate behavior. These fee-free programs include GRYD, Mentor and Me, Brother to Brother, SES, and March to 1000.
GRYD: The Gang Reduction and Youth Development Program targets 10-15 year old youth residing or dwelling in the Southwest (Exposition Park) area of South Los Angeles whose academic proficiency level is three or more grade levels below their current enrollment grade and whose socio-behavioral beliefs are accepting of delinquency. The median academic proficiency of our GRYD program youth is third grade level (n = 197) despite the fact that the majority of our participants are 8th, 9th, and 10th grade students. Moreover, all GRYD program youth exhibit greater than 75% of the risk factors that contribute most to youth joining gangs, engaging in delinquency, or dropping out of school. GRYD program sites include Manual Arts High, Foshay Learning Center, Menlo Elementary, EXPO Center, African American Unity Center, and Obama Middle School.
Mentor and Me: Housed at Horace Mann Junior High School, Mentor and Me provides mentorship opportunities to 6th, 7th
Brotherhood Crusade''s mission is to remove and/or help individuals overcome the barriers that deter their pursuit of success in life; effectuate academic and vocational success; provide opportunities for personal, social, and economic growth; promote access to artistic excellence and cultural awareness; increase financial literacy; facilitate opportunities for a better quality of life; and promote health and safety.
The cornerstone of our work is helping low-income under-served residents improve their quality of life through the provision of youth development programs, services for the elderly, remedial education, services for the homeless, health education, financial education, cultural awareness & appreciation, physical fitness & nutrition, life & social skills training, diversity appreciation training, employment readiness & job placement, counseling, and the provision of emergency food, clothing, and shelter.Accordingly, our key initiative is the Ten-Year Community and Economic Development Plan, a multi-site initiative designed to forward seven objectives: 1) family support services for low income individuals; 2) youth development; 3) mentoring; 4) vocational training and job placement for unemployed and under-employed individuals; 5) quality programming for seniors; 6) financial literacy & homelessness avoidance; and 7) physical fitness & nutrition (healthy lifestyles & anti-obesity).
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