Youth Violence Prevention Council for Shasta County (YVPC) is an amazing organization. It’s a non-profit organization with a mission to prevent youth violence and gang activity, and to promote a safe and healthy community for youth. Through the years, YVPC has operated a variety of programs throughout Shasta County designed to build resiliency factors and empower teens to become civic leaders. Some programs include:
• Youth/Peer Court – restorative justice program for youth offenders
• PlusONE Mentors
• Shasta Youth Leadership Camp
• Fresh Start for Youth Endowment
• Graffiti Eradication Program
• Youth Fire-Setter Prevention & Intervention
• Project EX Teen Tobacco Cessation Classes
• Toward No Drug Abuse Classes (TND)
• Advocacy for youth issues on the local, state, and national level
• …and countless other community awareness & education programs
You may be thinking: “What!? This program fosters positive relationships and valuable resources for AT-RISK youth?!? AND it provides community-based outlets for young people to cultivate their leadership abilities!? You got to be kidding me!”
I kid you not.
For all you doubters, I encourage you to check out their site: http://yvpc.org/index.html
What could be better than the goal of this organization, as described by their name? The Youth Violence Prevention Council sponsors Peer Court, providing an option for youth offenders to be tried outside the juvenile justice system, giving other teens an opportunity to observe and participate in court proceedings, and understand the consequences of poor choices. Local judges and lawyers volunteer to preside over and counsel the peer prosecutors and defenders, and if the dispositions and sentences are not fulfilled by the offenders, they may be remanded to juvenile court. This is a wonderful program, that can have life-changing results for any who participate in it.