The purpose of The Cipher is to provide participants with the means to envision their future optimistically despite a challenging environment that includes high levels of school dropout and teen pregnancy. The program envisions a group of confident and engaged young people who will gain positive learning experiences, build self-esteem, improve academic performance, and expand possibilities for their future. Our project has recruited 25 young adults residing in this area ages 15-21 that have been referred from probation officers and various social-service organizations throughout Austin. The Cipher connects with these participants by speaking a language that embraces cultural differences, communicating in ways that make them feel more comfortable, and reaching out differently from any other program. Engaging youth in community events, rallies, and festivals and providing opportunities to meet with committed mentors, musicians, poets, and community leaders helps them establish positive relationships, learn positive coping skills, and ways to create their own opportunities.