The Children's Aid Society in New York: Hope Leadership Academy

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A new study says that for children and teens who suffer violence at the hands of peers, immediate one-on-one mentoring on how to avoid conflict and diffuse threats reduces their risk of becoming victims again. Participants who received personalized counseling and formed a mentoring relationship with counselors reported 25% fewer fights and 42% fewer injuries from fights six months later.

The Children’s Aid Society in New York knows that as members of the community it plays an important role in helping kids that experience violence and trauma. By helping young people avoid or overcome emotional problems resulting from violence or sexual abuse early, deeply set trauma later in life can be avoided.

New York’s Children’s Aid Society responded to this need with the creation of Hope Leadership Academy: a multifaceted approach to help adolescents and families cope with post traumatic stress. The Hope Leadership Academy is a teen center that gives adolescents a safe place to process their feelings on violence and victimization. It shows them how to derive strength from their experiences, to feel empowered rather than hopeless. With new skills and self-confidence, they not only make changes in their own lives, but in their neighborhoods, and beyond.

Through learning peaceful and effective solutions to violence and prejudice, HOPE participants build stronger families and safer communities. By working to reduce violence and effectively deal with issues, The Children’s Aid Society in New York is also teaching youth to handle any situation in life by learning public speaking and how to become peer educators. Lessons for a lifetime, for sure!