Mission: EORO was founded by Robin Sohnen to respond to her home county of San Mateo County''s lack of creative diversion programs for incarcerated youth. Our Legacy: Independence and Empowerment; transforming the lives of kids behind bars.
Since 1997, EORO has offered artistic and educational opportunities inside juvenile detention facilities, pre-release and post-release planning, organized community participation in the juvenile justice system, and promoted collaboration among the system''s various components.
Each One Reach One (EORO) believes that youth behind bars are kids, first and foremost; that one-on-one mentoring through the creative act of playwriting and academic tutoring provides the best way to positively influence the beliefs that incarcerated youth hold of themselves and that society holds of them. EORO believes that young people have the right to learn from their mistakes, that they need to be encouraged to take responsibility for building a better future for themselves, and that education is the tool that can transform their lives. We support their efforts to transform their lives through theatre arts experiences and academic tutoring; reinforcing their ability to develop into productive members of our community.
EORO History - Each One Reach One (EORO) began in 1997, as an advocacy organization to divert incarcerated kids and kids on probation from a life in prison. Over the past decade, EORO has evolved into a unique non-profit that organizes the community to participate in diversion programs serving detained youth. EORO conducts artistic, literacy and post-release services programs inside juvenile detention facilities that annually engage over 100 community members in the juvenile justice system as individual mentors, educational tutors, painters and actors while promoting cooperation and collaboration among the systems various components. In 1998, EORO began exploring the potential use of experiential arts programs as an intervention strategy for teenagers at the highest risk of spending their adult lives in prison and conducted our first Playwriting program in May, 1998. In 2000, EORO formed a Board of Directors and secured non-profit status. In 2002, EORO formed ADAPT (A Dream and A Plan for Tomorrow), a partnership that currently includes representatives of the San Mateo County Office of Education, the San Mateo Juvenile Probation Department, Youth Service Center staff, and JobTrain. In 2002, San Franciscos primary juvenile detention facility-the Juvenile Justice Center (JJC), contracted with EORO to conduct playwriting workshops. Soon afterwards, EORO began exploring ways to replicate ADAPT in San Francisco County. In 2004, EORO built a partnership with the San Francisco County Office of Educations Woodside Learning Center, the San Francisco Juvenile Probation Department, JJC staff and the University of San Francisco and the Youth Guidance Center Improvement Committee, which conducts an extensive post-release GED program. In 2005, we began conducting ADAPT at JJCs maximum-security boy''s unit. Since 1998, EORO''s programs have served almost 1100 high-risk youth.
Programs: A Dream and A Plan for Tomorrow (ADAPT) attempts to reduce recidivism by addressing the academic needs of incarcerated youth and by providing post-release services that link youth to community resources that assist them to identify job training and employment opportunities before they are released. In ADAPT's tutoring component, the youth work one-on-one with academic tutors/mentors to pursue a General Education Diploma (GED). A GED can open the doors to educational and employment opportunities for youth who do not have the necessary credits to graduate from high school. Playwriting Workshops, where youth work one-on-one with a theater professional to write an original, one-act play. Through this creative process, youth examine their life choices as well as their attitudes, opinions and values. Each playwriting workshop concludes with a staged reading of the scripts by professional actors before a live audience comprising the youth's parents, peers, teachers, caseworkers and invited members of the public. These readings have proven to be transformative: for many of the youth, it is the first time they have experienced success or had their accomplishments publicly recognized. Healthy Choices Life-Skills Program for Girls is a new health education and life skills program for girls detained at the Youth Services Center in San Mateo. Facilitated by a case manager, the program consists of classes on topics such as self-esteem, employment, relationships and health. The Expressive Painting Program uses the power of arts to heal hearts and transform lives. We employ Process Oriented Painting which teaches youth to explore, process and express their emotions in constructive and creative ways. Each Painting Program concludes with a Art Show of the student's work inside the detention facility for an invited audience. The young girls at the Youth Services Center receive virtually no programming while detained. Advocacy and Collaboration: EORO advocates within and collaborates with the various components of the juvenile justice system, school districts and institutional staff to provide innovative programs that improve outcomes for detained youth and better coordination among the system's various components. EORO's submission of bill ideas to Assemblyman Mullin regarding the special academic need for older incarcerated youth resulted in the passage of Assembly Bill 622 in 2007. This Bill allows California's Counties Offices of Education to provide one hour of GED preparation classes each day during school hours to youth detained in juvenile and mental health institutions, who will not graduate from high school, and lowers the age that detained youth across the State can receive a GED certificate from 18 to 17. After two years of EORO campaigning and working closely with, the San Francisco Unified School District and the Juvenile Justice Center, we began GED testing on site for youth incarcerated at the JJC.