Youth Empowerment Retreat

Official Project

The Problem

We are four Human Services students from the State University of New York at New Paltz. The town of New Paltz, New York is home to two excellent programs that benefit local youth: St. John's Bosco Child and Family Services and the New Paltz Youth Program, an after school center for middle and high school students). As Human Services students who live and go to school in this area, we have a special interest in the problems that affect the youth of our community. St. John's is a group home for teenage boys who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, or behavioral problems. NPYP is an after school program for middle and high school students and provides educational, recreational, and social support services year-round. Youth involved in both programs need activities that increase self-esteem, self-awareness and communication skills. Our project will provide a positive, fun experience to develop self-esteem/awareness and communication skills. We are committed to aiding these youth in their social and emotional development. We want these young people to have fun while they learn about themselves. Our group is composed of thoughtful, hardworking, empathic and dedicated women who care deeply about the youth of New Paltz. We have spent the past couple years increasing our human services knowledge both inside and outside of the classroom through experience in the field. We feel that being awarded this grant will give us a wonderful opportunity to make a difference in our community and further expand this knowledge and experience.

Plan of Action

To begin our project, we created an action plan to identify and assign tasks. We researched local campsites and chose the popular picturesque North-South Lake site in the Catskill Mountains. We met with youth from both programs to elicit their interest and engage them in the planning process. In order to gain insight into both organizations, we met with St. John’s House Manager, Barbara Flood and with NPYP Director, Jim Tinger. Both Ms. Flood and Mr. Tinger’s expertise and support for our project provide valuable on-going guidance for our project. With the support and guidance of St. John’s and NPYP we are preparing for the retreat. We have asked our college’s fitness center if they would be willing to donate camping supplies for the retreat and they will happily oblige if we receive this grant. One of our group members is a current employee of the ShopRite of New Paltz and has gotten a donation of food and drinks for the retreat. We will arrange transportation through Ulster County Area Transit.

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