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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Adult & Child Matching Programs, Arts & Culture, Arts, Culture & Humanities, Arts Education, Arts Services, Children & Youth

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.

Community Stories

6 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Each One Reach One provides not only great services for our youth, but we also believe that through the arts we can make a difference.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I can't say enough about the amazing work Each One Reach One does! The organization exposes young adults to creative and expressive art, and for many of the participants, this is their first experience tapping into their creative side. As a former volunteer, I enjoyed watching participants grow and develop and realize their potential in the realm of the arts and education. Each One Reach One is a one of kind organization which allows youth to expand and deepen their knowledge and gives them the ability to overcome barriers.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Robins story and great love of this work and helping young people behind bars is beyond inspirational. The kids that experience this program have great transformations in such a short time. EORO is truly an exemplary organization.

Board Member

Rating: 5

This organization recognizes and cultivates the talent and potential of young people who have been incarcerated. It gives these youth a chance to find their voice and provides tools they may use to forge a new path. The plays that youth write are performed in very powerful staged readings. But what Each One Reach One does goes far beyond those readings. The programs provide health education, tutoring, and support through community college. It's one small organization doing its part to end mass incarceration by believing in the inherent greatness of these young people, even as they are being told by so many others that they are not worthy. This is why I choose to support EORO.

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked with many community programs designed to serve youth who are involved in the juvenile justice system. Never have I met staff who were more dedicated than those at Each One Reach One. When I attended a reading of the plays that the young detainees wrote, I was moved to tears. Each One Reach One's executive director explains that the youth really engage and take pride in the play-writing experience, and that it inspires them to study for their GED and look forward in a healthy and positive way. Each One Reach One is an impressive organization, driven by compassion and intelligence.

Sabrina K.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I love EORO--their mission, their staff, and their dedicated volunteers and board of directors. The impact they have on the lives of those who are invisible to too many of us is astonishing, helping young people most at risk re-imagine their lives and set (and accomplish) goals that will transform these youth, their families and their communities. With an arts and education focus, they are changing the world, one on one.

Sarah335

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Working and growing with Each One Reach One over the last four years has been life-changing for me. First, I was able to experience being a mentor and I will never forget the passionate, intelligent young people I met inside. I pray they are all free and safe. As complicated and challenging as they're lives are, I positive this program left each one of them with feeling encouraged, you could see it in their warm smiles and glowing faces after they're plays were performed to great applause. Then, EORO and I collaborated on my play about solitary confinement, The Box, which Premiered in San Francisco last July. Each One Reach One was the fiscal sponsor and went above and beyond to ensure things ran smoothly while we worked around the clock to raise the funds and bring this incredible production to life. I can't think of an organization with more integrity, vision....and ability to follow-through!