My name is Jason Goubourn and I am the Director of Greater New Haven Help Alliance's Youth Initiative summer leadership program. Youth Initiative is an outstanding program that does an uncanny job of training the young leaders of today.
This program began training and developing approximately twenty of the Greater New Haven’s young people in the summer of 2004. Since then the program has blossomed serving an average of 30 young people each summer since its beginning. Youth Initiative is a program that gathers young people from different areas of New Haven into one setting in order to daily shed light on the issues that most commonly impede smooth transitions into adulthood, the workforce, and life as a healthy contributor to society and community. Not only do we expose important issues that lie under the surface, but we provide learning experiences that allow the young people to internalize their importance and decide to meet these challenges head on. Through an incorporation of lectures, hands-on workshops, journaling, discussion, and real life work experience, the Youth Initiative Program fosters personal growth, intentional preparation, and compels our teens to consider themselves as individuals as well as essential parts of the collective.
One aspect of the program that makes it unique is the role the provided work experience plays in the lives of the participants. Every summer Youth Initiative strives to place young people at establishments that compliment their career aspirations. In the past we have had aspiring attornies volunteer at a law office and through the experience gained are now studying law at prestigious universities such as New York University and Quinnipiac University. We have had aspiring nurses volunteer at nursing homes through youth initiative that are now in college studying to be registered nurses.
It is always a joy to see the young leaders of today come in unsure of themselves and unaware of their potential and leave skilled, focused, and ready for the world.
Director, GNHHA: Youth Initiative