very youth enrolled in Brotherhood Crusade’s year-round youth development programs is comprehensively assessed academically, socio-behaviorally, and physically prior to enrollment. An individual plan is prepared for all participants that outline their needs in each of these areas. Participants then receive free remedial education, academic assistance, educational enrichment, mental health, and comprehensive health (for them and their families regardless of financial or legal status) services. As a result, program participants have increased their academic proficiency by 132% on average and reduced their incidents of tardiness, truancy, crime, delinquency, and inappropriate behavior. These fee-free programs include GRYD, Mentor and Me, Brother to Brother, SES, and March to 1000.
Brotherhood Crusade’s gang reduction efforts under the Youth Development Program have been so successful that the program was nominated for the National Criminal Justice Association 2009 Outstanding Criminal Justice Program Award by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services California Gang Reduction and Intervention Program (CalGRIP).
GRYD: The Gang Reduction and Youth Development Program targets 10-15 year old youth residing or dwelling in the Southwest (Exposition Park) area of South Los Angeles whose academic proficiency level is three or more grade levels below their current enrollment grade and whose socio-behavioral beliefs are accepting of delinquency. The median academic proficiency of our GRYD program youth is third grade level (n = 108) despite the fact that the majority of our participants are 8th, 9th, and 10th grade students. Moreover, all GRYD program youth exhibit greater than 75% of the risk factors that contribute most to youth joining gangs, engaging in delinquency, or dropping out of school. GRYD program sites include Manual Arts High School, Foshay Learning Center, Menlo Elementary School, the EXPO Center, and the African American Unity Center.
Mentor and Me: Housed at Horace Mann Junior High School, Mentor and Me provides mentorship opportunities to 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students. Academic, socio-behavioral, and pro-social mentoring are featured.
Brother to Brother Program: This program focuses on teaching men and boys of color how to be men and effectively perform their role in society through various mentoring experiences. The Family Violence Prevention Fund Coaching Boys into Men curriculum, teaching youth about domestic violence and respect of women, is featured in this program.
SES: Our Supplemental Educational Services initiative is available to all South Los Angeles students attending Title 1 schools. The initiative specifically focuses on improving academic proficiency in math, English language arts and science.
March to 1000: March to 1000 was so named because the Academic Proficiency Index ranks schools from 200 (worst) to 1000 (best). This initiative is our counterpart to the GRYD program in the southeast area of South Los Angeles.
Junior Executive Leadership Program: Through hands-on experiences, volunteerism and career-based mentoring, this innovative program prepares 14- to 17-year-olds for work readiness, career development and entrepreneurship. Participants learn the dynamics of leadership, responsibility, social justice and accountability, while developing skills to succeed in college and/or the real world marketplace.
Evidence of Effectiveness –Youth Development Program
he quarterly progressive improvement observed and represented by these data results signifies a significant long-term and sustainable change in attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs toward academic success, delinquency, and gang membership among youth with severe academic and socio-behavioral issues.
Academic Achievement Results: After one program year, the 132 youth tested realized a median improvement in content standard-specific learning gap academic performance scores of 135%, 105%, and 261% in English language arts (ELA), math, and science, respectively. Median general knowledge academic performance scores also increased by 98% and 45%, in ELA and math, respectively [Wildflower, 2009].
Social Behavioral Results: The 117 youth tested realized the following improvements after Year One: youth relationships - 350%; aggressive and externalizing behaviors - 600%; delinquent beliefs - 1,000%; negative life events - 266%; pro-social relationships (delinquent peers) - 200%; and pro-social relationships (commitment to street-oriented peers) - 350%. Additionally, supervision and parenting skills of the youth’s parents/guardians improved 211% [Wildflower, 2009].
Qualitative Assessments: At the end of the program year, parent/guardians, teachers (regular school day instructors, mentors, coaches, pastors, etc.), other individuals with whom the youth maintains close relationships, and the youth reported observing significant improvements with respect to social relationships, personal relationships, attitude about school, commitment to school, civic and community engagement, school attendance, incidents of aggression, incidents of violence, drug use, inappropriate behaviors, tardiness, and truancy [Wildflower, 2009].
The quarterly progressive improvement observed and represented by these data results signifies a significant long-term and sustainable change in attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs toward academic success, delinquency, and gang membership among youth with severe academic and socio-behavioral issues.