The Youth Service Bureau (YSB) is an independent, nonprofit agency developed to offer free summer and after-school programs to both male and female youth between ages 12 and 16 years. The goal of YSB is to foster coping skills and problem-solving strategies that offer alternatives to substance abuse by providing a safe, supervised environment for at-risk youth. YSB strives to increase education regarding how substance abuse can lead to delinquent behavior, boost awareness of alternatives such as extracurricular activities, and reduce substance abuse among adolescents aged 12-16 in the Central Texas community within the next five years.
YSB youths utilize time to complete homework with assistance from staff, participate in community service activities, receive individual counseling, engage in psycho-educational groups during the week, and are offered a snack, Monday through Thursday from 3:30 pm - 7:00 pm, (YSB, 2018). On Fridays, the program runs from 3:30 pm - 11:00 pm, providing standard programming through 7:00 pm and then a "Friday Night Activity" for those who have earned the privilege to participate in a dinner outing (YSB, 2018).
Program Rationale and Aims
Some Hispanic youth in Texas may experience challenges because their families lack access to material resources and safe environments to develop healthy socialization skills and the ability to overcome social pressures (Isasi, Rastogi, & Molina, 2016). The rationale for the program is to provide the youth with accessible role model with whom they can interact after school and over the weekends. The role models would be drawn from the local community and be comprised of people who have overcome social, behavioral and political problems in their life and can tell their story. The program will, therefore, teach the youth on how to improve their attitude, develop self-efficacy, and engage in positive behaviors.
Research Evaluation Question
The program evaluation question will aim at determining or assessing the extent to which the program meets its program's objectives. Because the program is mainly designed for the Hispanic youths in America, the evaluation of the program will include impact assessment, process assessment, and outcome assessment.
The evaluation question asks, how effective is Youth Service Bureau's meeting the targeted needs of at-risk youth, their families, and community?Followed with, is YSB staffing structured in a manner as to where they are utilized sufficiently and implementing strategies that are conducive to the participant's intervention plan and the program's design and goals? Is the budget allowing the utilization of resources for the program?
Addressing Clients Needs
The Hispanic community is considered amongst one of the largest growing groups in America. Unfortunately, Hispanic youth has a higher chance to be affected by substance abuse and health or behavioral problems due to health care disparities. According to Schinke, Schwinn, Hopkins, &Wahlstrom (2016), drug abuse is one of the main disquieting problems among the Hispanic youth. According to research conducted between 2014 and 2015 by Isasi, Rastogi, & Molina (2016), the Hispanic youth population is at risk of substance abuse due to their negative self-image, higher levels of stress lack proper coping skills, and peer involvement of drug use. It is also important to note that the Hispanic youth are at risk of substance abuse due to lower levels of self-control, goal-setting, problem-solving skills, and self-efficacy (Semenza, 2017). YSB seeks to empower youth to overcome self-hate and inferiority complex by educating and training them to become productive, law-abiding, drug-free, and positive youths. YSB does this by providing services such as tutoring sessions, individual and family counseling, where goals and intervention plans are developed. Psychosocial rehabilitation groups, prevention workshops, facilitating the participation of community work, and recreational learning through sports are also provided.
In relation to The Youth Service Bureau (YSB), the themes of literature to be covered are Youth Attending Alternative Schools - An Overview, Substance Abuse and Risk Factors, and At-Risk Latino Youth. The Youth Service Bureau (YSB) plays a critical role in addressing the problems affecting youth in the country, particularly the Central Texas community. The goal of Youth Service Bureau (YSB) is to foster coping skills and problem-solving strategies that offer alternatives to substance abuse by providing a safe, supervised environment for at-risk youth aged 12-16. The program goal was chosen to benefit at-risk youth who currently struggle with supervision issues during the hours following school, which places them at a higher risk to engage in delinquent and anti-social behavior such as drug and alcohol usage, lying, and stealing (Institute of Medicine (U.S.)., 2014). The goal may provide aid and assurance to parents of these children that they are not participating in delinquent acts, but rather learning how to problem solve at home, school, the community, and amongst their peers.
Youth Attending Alternative Schools - An Overview
By definition, students attending alternative schools or programs are "at risk" for academic failure (Reimer & Cash, 2003). Educators argue what signifies academic success, but explain academic failure as not earning a high school diploma or its equivalent (i.e., a GED). The expression "at-risk," however, is not used consistently. It occasionally depicts characteristics of youths affiliated with elevated dropout rates, such as low socioeconomic status, specific minorities, and homelessness, living in violent neighborhoods, having a disability, or having a parent with a low education level. In other instances, the label shows a student's educational experiences. Examples consist of low academic achievement, court involved suspension/expulsion, or poor school attendance. NCLB's (2002) definition combines both aspects:
The term 'at-risk', when used with respect to a child, youth, or student, means a school- aged individual who is at-risk of academic failure, has a drug or alcohol problem, is pregnant or is a parent, has come into contact with the juvenile justice system in the past, is at least 1 year behind the expected grade level for the age of the individual, has limited English proficiency, is a gang member, has dropped out of school in the past, or has a high absenteeism rate at school (NCLB, 2002, 1432).
According to the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy (2014), there is limited national data about students who participate in alternative education. A review of research and policy literature discloses that many alternative education choices aim towards specific groups of youth, particularly those regarded as "at-risk" academically or otherwise. The following list depicts characteristics of youths in an alternative school and program:
Poor attendance/chronic absenteeism
Disciplinary removal (suspension or expulsion)
Learning difficulties or disabilities
External stressors, family disruption, or conflict
Social/emotional difficulties or disorders
Underperforming or need academic remediation (under-credited)
Pregnant or parenting
More likely to live in single-parent families
Likely to have parents without a high school diploma
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