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Each One Reach One

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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

8 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an amazing organization! Each staff person is committed and invested in the mission of the organization and the success of the young people they serve. I wish I still lived in California.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I became involved with EORO because of my own background as an at risk youth. This organization is amazing, I have never met such a passionate director and staff that are invested in their mission. The work this organization is able to accomplish despite its small staff is phenomenal! I will continue to support EORO even though I have relocated out of state. The area and populations they reach are one of the most neglected and invisible, but are some of the most talent rich and intelligent youth. Please support this organization!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been affiliated to EORO for almost 20 years. The work they do with youth is amazing. I love attending their Playwriting Shows. The young writes tell unbelievable, and sometimes heartbreaking stories. The mentors that work with them are so talented and dedicated towards their success! Amazing!

1 Michael415

Board Member

Rating: 5

Each One Reach One gives young men and women who have fallen victim to the prison industrial complex a voice, a mentor, skill development, and a path through educational opportunities to overcome a system that profits off of them being locked in a cell. If you are new to EORO and live in or around the Bay Area, please attend a playwriting show as soon as possible to see the work firsthand. You can also read the work of EORO's young playwrights on the website. The stories will make you laugh, cry, feel joy and pain, and I can almost guarantee they'll inspire you to get involved.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I LOVE and continue to support this highly effective, dynamic and heartfelt organization! I was on the EORO Board from 2006-2009, looking for board service and they were just the right fit. EORO continues to defy expectations, to be cutting edge, leading with service, efficacy, and collaborating with community partners to continually break new ground. Anticipating the pipeline of need, they are expanding to serve youth "coming out from inside" to get their GEDs, enroll in community college, and keep expanding. Come on out for a playwriting show to learn firsthand how this terrific organization catalyzes growth, self-worth and actualizes potential!

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.

1 Frank G.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I love this organization. In the four years I have been involved with them I have attended about a half dozen playwriting shows and it never gets old to see young people be given a chance to rewrite the script for the rest of their life. The work involves diverse volunteers and mentors from the community who join together to help break down the stereotypes and attitudes that keep at-risk kids down and destined to a cycle of incarceration. Amazingly powerful!

Patricia Rose D.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I joined the board of Each One Reach One after attending one of the play reading performances at the San Francisco detention center. I was blown away by the plays written by these youth who were 'doing time' at the facility. The sensitivity, knowledge, love, self awareness that were expressed in their words filled me with amazement. I wanted to be part of an organization that could provide this type of opportunity for self expression to these kids. To see the pride in each boy's face as they accepted the applause and certificate for their achievement was priceless. I believe in the program and am committed to help it grow and succeed.

Board Member

Rating: 4

I have been involved with EORO for over 10 years as an actor and mentor in the playwriting and served on the board of directors. Working with an incarcerated youth in the process of writing a play based on their greatest wish or fear in life is an incredible experience. Most often the material is very auto biographical and extremely heart felt. Sometimes the young men writiing deeper material than the girls. To be able to help a young person have a voice - that most often is not provided one is such a gift. The show day is so exciting with every student brimming with pride for their accomplishment. The added plus of having a family member attend the show inside detention and witness there success is ovewhelming. Watching the youth and their professional actors on stage taking their bows is a memory that sticks with me long after I leave. The pride on their faces is unforgettable and I feel so blessed to have contributed a small part towards that success by my acting.