With the very rapidly changing juvenile justice landscape in NYC, we are trying to better understand our place as a service provider for justice-involved youth. We are looking to assess other programs, places of high need, and sources for referrals that we can tap into. Looking for those who are familiar with the justice landscape.
We are undergoing a major scaling campaign, with the goal to triple the amount of youth we serve. We want to ensure we are tapping into all of the available markets, and positioning ourself as gold-standard programming among other organizations that serve a similar population.
exalt* is premised on demonstrated success showing that substantive, supported internships can be powerful catalysts and incentives for youth to pursue their education and employment goals. Our mission is to transform the lives of court-involved youth by equipping them with the skills and experience necessary to become self-sufficient members of society.
exalt fulfills our mission and achieves program outcomes by providing our intensive educational Internship Program to 150 New York City court-involved youth, ages 15-19, annually. Our primary outcomes are our program graduates' avoidance of further criminal justice system involvement and their increased investment in and persistence towards educational goals through attending and progressing in school. Since its founding in November 2006, exalt has grown from a small start-up to a successful organization that has served 802 youth through 53 program cycles with remarkable success:
* Only 1% of our graduates from the past two years have obtained new convictions. 15% have had new arrests since graduating, none of which have (yet) resulted in convictions .
* 94% of program graduates from the past two years remain enrolled in school or have obtained a high school diploma or GED since graduating.
Our program consists of five key components: 1) Enrollment & Engagement Phase upon referral to our program for a comprehensive needs/baseline assessment process; 2) Pre & Post Internship Training to build students' core life skills along with other traditional employment readiness skills; 3) paid Internships that are carefully matched to student interests, developmental needs and skill set; 4) Post-Internship Skill Development & Support Services during which students develop a six-month individual progress plan reflecting their unique needs while also attending a targeted workshop series; 5) Alumni Networking to provide ongoing access to educational support, career exploration and other resources.
In addition, staff provide education and court advocacy for our participants throughout their time in the program and beyond.