GPS (Gang Prevention Services) is a community-based program for youth who live in Mt. Vernon ages 10-15 who are displaying at risk taking behaviors such as truancy, gang involvement, school suspension, involvement with the law, or who have a sibling or parent incarcerated or are recommended by an adult with whom GPS partners. Home environment, and other factors are taken into consideration when making the recommendation for GPS.
GPS is a voluntary program with the goal of helping youth stay out of trouble and stay on track to a brighter future. Whether you are a parent or concerned community member, your support is needed.
GPS develops programs to engage these youth in a more positive direction.
The GPS program works in partnership with parents, mentors, schools, mental health providers, and faith based organizations to prevent juvenile acting out in its youth participants. Prognosis for youth whose parents are involved and are linked to a mentor have a better chance of living a life with more pro-social activities and are less likely to be involved with high risk activities.
GPS seeks to achieve its goal through a program design that has four major components:
Mentoring: As an affiliate of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, FSW implements the BBBS evidenced-based mentoring model into its GPS program.
Youth who are involved with pro-social adults have more opportunities to experience acceptable social activities.
National and state statistics show that children who are mentored are more likely to improve in school and in their relationships with family and peers, and are less likely to skip school, use illegal drugs or alcohol. Students who are successful in school are less likely to drop out, become pregnant, abuse drugs or become involved in criminal activity. The success of children who are mentored is apparent in the following statistics.
In a nationwide study, Little Brothers and Little Sisters were:
- 52% less likely to skip school
- 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs
- More likely to get along with their families and peers
Pro-Social Groups: These groups are student lead, with trained, adult supervision. Activities enable youth to learn, practice and strengthen skills in conflict resolution and mediation; anger management, communication; decision-making; personal organization and study skills; and other life skills.
Case Management: Referrals for individual and family needs are made. GPS will assist in making linkages into the community as per the individual needs of program participants.
Parenting Workshops: Workshops are offered to parents to help with parenting skills; conflict resolution; and age-appropriate discipline strategies; as well as JLaw workshops which teach parents their rights and responsibilities under the law and help parents help their children deal more effectively with the challenges they face.
How You Can Help
Gang Prevention Services needs people in the community like you to help us change these young people’s futures.
Please contact us if you can:
- Provide talks with the students about life skills, nutrition, study skills, anger management
- Provide services, such as yoga, the arts, or others
- Become a mentor
- Help us to connect to other community resources
Please help us to help them.
Damon Bacote, Program Coordinator
914-668-9124 ext. 23
9 West Prospect, Suite 309
Mount Vernon, NY 10550