Carrera Program Components
The model includes seven fundamental components:
- Education: Daily engagement includes one-on-one or small group tutoring, PSAT and SAT preparation, and college trips. Individual academic plans for participants are developed;
- Employment: Weekly Job Club class is a full introduction to financial literacy and the "world of work," including opening bank accounts, exploring career choices and providing summer and part-time jobs. Participants are paid a stipend and make monthly deposits in their bank accounts;
- Family Life and Sexuality Education (FLSE): Weekly medically and scientifically comprehensive sexuality education sessions are taught in an age-appropriate fashion;
- Mental Health Services: Weekly discussion sessions called Power Group are led by certified social workers. 24 hour counseling and crisis intervention as needed;
- Full Medical and Dental Care: No cost, comprehensive medical and dental services are provided in partnership with local providers;
- Self-Expression: Multiple exposures to music, dance, writing and drama workshops are led by theater and art professionals, where children can discover talents and build self-esteem; and
- Lifetime Individual Sports: Multiple exposures to a program emphasizing sports that build self-discipline, impulse control and can be enjoyed throughout life, including golf, tennis, squash, swimming, and bowling.
The Carrera program is the only 3-year fully evaluated teenage pregnancy prevention program with statistically proven effectiveness in the country, yielding a 50% reduction in birth rates in communities served.
A multitude of other positive youth development outcomes include: increased likelihood of high-school graduation and college admission; increased employment experience; more bank accounts; and increased use of private physicians instead of emergency rooms.
Children's Aid is launching a national expansion of its Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program that will directly impact the lives of thousands of young people across the country, while influencing public attitudes, the policy environment, and the overall delivery of youth services.