The Step It Up Initiative

The Problem:

The societal ills that confront today’s youth are paramount. Statistics show that many of our youth are dropping out of school, engaging in promiscuous sex, lacking parental support, becoming aggressive & violent, and engaging in cliques that promote illegal activity i.e. selling drugs & stealing. Our current educational system alone cannot educate our youth through traditional book knowledge, therefore many of our youth lack knowledge in regards to non-violence, peer pressure, abstinence, safe sex, and the importance of obtaining a higher education. There is a need to impact youth on a level that will encourage the need of knowing that they are not alone in facing many of their everyday issues. In addition, our youth need to know that there are various organizations and service providers available that are more than willing to provide the essential resources to encourage them to step it up.

Why It’s Important:

Youth today are being forced to deal with exigent circumstances at very young ages. It is important to break the cycle in educating our youth about topics that they will face or are facing before the wrong decision is made, thus affecting their life chances in the long run. The choice to help guide youth through the sometimes awkward developmental stages that accompany the transition into adulthood is paramount in decreasing statistical data. This initiative can offer not only academic and career guidance, but also allow youth to physically see models for leadership, interpersonal and problem-solving skills. Effective health & prevention skills can educate as well as prevent youth from embarking down a delinquent road that can lead to criminal records or even death, by providing youth with information about topics that they can utilize in their lives. Also, encouraging them to pass the knowledge on, we are equipping youth with the knowledge to help save countless lives, thereby creating a positive impact in the communities in which we live.

Plan of Action:

Understanding the dominant popular culture of youth is critical in prevention. This initiative will consist of a positive Hip-Hop movement that will incorporate community service providers, in order to spark a youth driving atmosphere where teens will be comfortable in embarking on educational resources in awareness and prevention, in regards to non-violence, HIV/AIDs, peer pressure, making informed decisions, and the importance of obtaining a higher education.

This initiative targets youth who would never access preventative services through traditional community providers or don’t seek information because of stigmas, cultural and community fear and discrimination. It creates a safe environment to obtain health education, awareness, prevention, and treatment services in a youth friendly environment.

Theme: STEP IT UP! AND TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Mission:

This initiative is designed to educate our youth about dealing with everyday issues through a collaborative effort with local community resources, while also stressing the need for youth to step up every aspect of their life. The initiative has five primary goals: 1) To spearhead a community effort to educate youth about the importance of obtaining a higher education. 2) To encourage our youth to make informed decisions about their life & those that surround them. 3) To be positive community leaders, speaking out against drugs & violence plaguing our neighborhoods 4) To promote abstinence as a way of preventing the contraction of HIV/AIDS 5) To encourage the practice of safer sex for those who are sexually active.