The Somerville YMCA Outreach Program is a year round counseling/activities program designed to meet the needs of at-risk youths. We provide services to girls and boys ages 10-15 and their families in the Somerville community.
– To provide counseling and alternative activities to at-risk youths who are experiencing some difficulty in their lives.
– To conduct youth substance abuse prevention / intervention services.
– To divert youths from the juvenile justice system.
– To develop and strengthen communication between youth and family.
– To give kids a sense of belonging and the power to change their behavior.
Through a combination of group counseling sessions and a variety of high adventure activities, youth build self-confidence, self-awareness and leadership skills. By participating in the program, kids get the opportunity to learn how to make responsible decisions about important life issues.
1. Girls and boys are referred to the Somerville YMCA Outreach Program by school counselors, social workers, probation officers and mental health professionals.
2. A home visit is conducted to inform the counselor about the youth’s environment and his/her problem areas.
3. Each client signs a contract agreeing to improve some area of their behavior.
4. Semi-weekly contacts are made with the school counselor, the referral agent and parents to insure each client’s progress.
5. The client also attends weekly rap sessions on a variety of topics such as:
- substance abuse
- child abuse prevention
- adolescent health issues
- suicide prevention
Semi-monthly parents meetings are held to discuss common concerns and to continue effective communication between the participants and the staff.
By maintaining contracts and attending rap sessions, kids can participate in the outreach program focus activity, the National Youth Project Using Minibikes, or NYPUM.
Working with specially trained youth counselors, participants complete a 21-part lesson plan which teaches safe riding skills, responsibility to other riders, and the mechanics of a minibike.
Participants will be monitored on attitude, participation and respectfulness and are given points for accomplishing their contractual obligations.. All minibikes used in the program are provided by the American Honda Motor Company.
NYPUM counselors must complete a special 8 day course, developed by the national NYPUM program and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, to receive certification as a NYPUM trainer. A re-certification course is required every three years.
In prohibitive or inclement weather, kids will be able to do other activities as part of the program such as wilderness hikes, working with video equipment, bowling, and basketball.
WHO, WHEN, WHERE
- Girls and boys, ages 10 – 15
- No special skills necessary
- Groups meet twice a week for rap session/activity session
- Rap sessions are on Monday and Thursday evenings – 6PM to 8PM
- Activities are on alternating Saturdays
- Each participant is eligible for a free YMCA membership while enrolled in the program. (Services are free, but participation in fundraising events is expected! Must be a Somerville resident to participate.)
Program services are possible through the contributions of United Way, Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning & Community Development, YMCA’s Partners with Youth, local community & business organizations, local fundraisers and individual contributions.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
For more information, please call the YMCA Outreach Coordinator or Joe Pinto, Youth Services Director at 617-625-5050 or check out the Schedules/Forms page on this website.