What We Do
CCPY provides comprehensive, school-site programs, outdoor adventure and education, community-building activities, mentoring, case management and academic assistance; all generating meaningful long-term relationships with caring, professional adults. We support youths to stay in school, believe in themselves and the future.
The Step Up program works with incoming freshmen at two of East San Jose's high schools in the out-of-school hours when teens would otherwise be preyed upon by gangs. With multiple excursions into nature and around town, from summer camp kickoff through the January wilderness retreat to the end of the academic school year, CCPY changes attitudes and possibilities through the critical 9th to 10th grade transition.
CCPY is popular, and an easy sell to incoming 9th graders, as upperclassmen who are program graduates enthusiastically serve as role models, tutors and wilderness partners to their younger peers. Their successes are contagious!
CCPY's core program incorporates well recognized best practices such as:
- Cornerstone Project/Search Institute, helping youth improve 30 of the 41 defined Developmental Assets for healthy growth and development.
- San Jose Mayor's Gang Prevention Task Force, Action Coalition community plan, and Strategic Work Plan. The CCPY Executive Director currently serves on the Task Force Policy Team & Technical Team Western Division.
- California Governor's Mentoring Partnership, meeting and exceeding full requirements for all 10 Governor's Mentoring Partnership Best Practices,
- Citizen Crime Prevention Associates (CCPA) youth program assessment tools used by City of Oakland, City of San Jose, Counties of San Mateo/Santa Clara. CCPY was rated #1 on the Service Performance Index (SPI) score of all San Jose/Bay Area youth serving agencies;
- Global Partners for Youth (GPY) best practice guidelines.
Year One: Step Up
The initial program begins with careful screening and selection of both youth participants and adult mentors. After a parent/youth/mentor orientation and initial training, the program is launched with an intensive, four-day residential course attended by youth, their mentors and a team of life-skills coaches. Throughout the following year, mentors contact their youth at least once a week. There are two monthly group sessions for all youth and their mentors, facilitated by CCPY leaders. In addition, on-going coaching and training is provided to mentors once per month. Parents also attend a support and education program led by trained course leaders. Life-skills coaching is available to youth, parents and mentors as requested or required.
Year Two: Step Ahead
Youth take more responsibility for designing their own programs. While youth continue to have the option of working with mentors, there is less structure to this year. Youth attend monthly meetings, set goals, report progress and step ahead together. In building a community, youth begin to support themselves in their growth and give back to others.
CCPY Community Cornerstones
- Accountability: Being responsible for our own actions. We can choose our own actions instead of responding to the circumstances around us. Ultimately, we are responsible for who we are, and who we become.
- Possibility: Opening our vision to see beyond our circumstances to what is possible for our lives without limits. Setting inspiring goals for ourselves that challenge us, make us stretch, and help us to reach our potential.
- Commitment: Demonstrate commitment by the practice of giving and keeping our word to ourselves and to others.
- Community: We support each other as we reach for our goals, become accountable for our actions, give and receive support, and keep commitments to ourselves and others.
Through caring, training, modeling and practice, CCPY allows for the transformation of even our most challenged youths' view of their future and personal role in the community. Their perspective shifts from being a victim of circumstance, to being self-reliant and responsible for their lives. They do this by experiencing they are capable, learning to set inspiring goals, following-through pursuing those goals, and making course adjustments along the way. This transformation prepares them to lead fulfilling, responsible lives, and contributing to the greater community.