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REACH Program: Youth-Adult Partnerships

Dakota Koski, Executive Director; Anne Parish, Program Coo | Published on 9/21/2022
REACH Program: Youth-Adult Partnerships (Recreational Experiences Achieving Community Harmony) was established in 2000 and received its 501 (c)(3) status in 2003. Today, over 250 participants are involved serving our mission of providing learning and leadership through youth-adult partnerships in Carlton County. REACH provides opportunities with youth, ages 10-21, who are looking for positive youth development that fosters self-esteem, builds developmental relationships, and strengthens a sense of belonging within themselves, families, school, and our community. One of our goals for the upcoming year is to create stronger developmental relationships and youth-adult partnerships in a mutually respectful and safe community.
 
We do this through three areas of our programming.  #1 Students Offering Support (SOS): An in-school, interactive informal/non-formal learning, resources, and training with local community leaders and experts; i.e. QPR suicide prevention, building stronger mental health. #2 Training and Support from Staff: Youth-focused training & technical support from REACH staff to build protective factors in youth and create group cohesion between REACH participants. REACH’s Youth Advisory Board advocates the holistic support of young people, focusing on mental health, and seeks to create stronger youth-adult partnerships to improve experiences of young people, advocating for restorative practices and strengthen youth voices and actions to create systemic changes that promote equality and equity to positively affect all youth in Carlton County. #3 After-School Programming: Regular, organized out-of-school time learning opportunities created and developed by REACH participants (group mentoring model) engaging in small and large group activities; plus, annual fundraising/community events supporting REACH Program.

REACH engages and motivates youth, encouraging youth to discover their strengths within our community. REACH's safe, respectful, and caring environment helps young people foster resiliency and develop a hopeful future. Protective factors can include: increased attendance and participation in school, prosocial behavior and activities, engagement in the community with peers and supportive adults. REACH personalizes each goal with each youth. REACH Program challenges youth to build trust, grow outside their comfort zone, and share fears and successes with supportive peers and competent adults.

In order to successfully create youth-adult partnerships, REACH Program needs to have volunteers show up, be present, and engage with our youth participants. Through volunteers, we can help build the bridge connecting young people and adults to accomplish our goals; bettering not only our program, but the lives of those in partnerships, families, schools, and the community as a whole.