Community Programmes help to develop confident young people and create access to services for those who might not otherwise reach us. These programmes promote and teach teamwork, decision making, leadership, social skills, self-regulation and the satisfaction that comes from working to one’s fullest potential. They include Youth Leadership Academy, Beyond Rugby and Beyond Yoga Bermuda.
YLA is a 3 phase, 4.5-year leadership training programme targeting youth who have typically experienced significant loss, trauma, or other risk factors, and who are unlikely to participate in other youth programmes. The programme is intentionally designed to provide youth the supports they require to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals. Staff identify the unique strengths and needs of youth and work with youth and families in four key areas: Leadership, Academics and Employment, Environmental Factors, and Personal Factors. YLA is strength based and trauma informed. The programme has three phases, each of which builds off the one before to help youth develop their leadership skills one step at a time. These three phases are:
Phase 1: Youth Leadership Intensive (YLI) is a week long programme that aims to bring youth and adults together in order to increase the understanding both adults in the community and youth participants have of themselves and others. It also teaches teens skills such as public speaking, making positive choices, cooperation, and habits related to setting and pursuing positive life goals.
Phase 2: Youth Leadership Academy (YLA) Foundations is a 5 month after-school programme that exposes youth to new and fun experiences, and empowers them to make positive decisions and to realize their full leadership potential through participation in community projects and activities.
Phase 3: Youth Leadership Community (YLC) offers the youth person ongoing transformative experiences and individualized support through high-school to help them realize their unique skills, passion and leadership style and perform at their best in and out of school.
Along their 4.5 year journey youth are coached to take responsibility for their academic and career growth, develop a positive sense of belonging, demonstrate self-awareness, better decision making and resilience and to improve themselves and their community. YLA supports youth to recognize their gifts, fulfil their potential and to become self-sufficient, engaged citizens.
High school students in YLA phase three (YLC) also have the opportunity to participate in a summer internship programme called “Building My Future”. At the end of the internship, they share their summer experience and what they have learned with the community at a showcase event.
Beyond Rugby (BR) Bermuda supports and inspires youth to reach their full potential on and off the rugby field. This twice a week after school rugby programme provides youth with academic and social-emotional supports, as well as exposure to character and vision building experiences. By combining rugby coaching expertise with the therapeutic skill of Family Centre’s Community Team, Beyond Rugby helps youth to develop as people and as athletes.
BR currently runs in both public senior schools: CedarBridge Academy and The Berkeley Institute. This accredited programme is trauma informed and strengths based. Staff are specifically trained to recognize and work with youth who may demonstrate trauma-based behaviours. Youth are provided with a snack, a meal and transportation home after each practice and are provided with crisis support on an as needed basis. BR is designed to decrease barriers to participation, promote high levels of youth engagement, provide young people with the supports they need to overcome their challenges and make lasting positive changes in their lives. The intentionality and intensity of the effort to holistically support youth is what makes the programme exceptional and effective.
Beyond Yoga is a pilot programme that involves the teachings and practice of yoga & mindfulness with education about the stress response system and how it works in the body. Introducing yoga practices to students helps to develop self-awareness, self-control and self-respect so that they can move forward in life with dignity and opportunity.
This pilot programme with Dellwood Middle School students includes all the “Beyond” programme pillars: academic support, social and emotional skill building, character development through sport/activity and vision and exposure building.
Family Centre Senior Community Support Worker, LaToya Bridgewater shares breathing exercises and pointers for teens & adolescents coping with COVID-19 anxiety and uncertainty.