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S.T.R.O.N.G. University

Community-based Violence Intervention

STRONG UNIVERSITY is our specialized gang, gun, and youth violence intervention program tailored for individuals aged between 14-21 years old. This program is specifically designed to support youth who are disconnected from the traditional school system, have had encounters with the criminal justice system, and are either affiliated with or involved in gangs.

Through the STRONG UNIVERSITY program, we are committed to providing a pathway for youth to break the cycle of violence and incarceration, empowering them to lead fulfilling and productive lives within their communities.



  • Decrease Recidivism:

Our primary objective is to reduce the likelihood of participants re-offending by providing them with the necessary resources and support to transition away from criminal activities.

  • Positive Identity Formation:

We aim to help participants develop a positive sense of self and identity, fostering a mindset that encourages personal growth, self-worth, and a belief in their potential for success.

  • ​Education and Skill Development:

STRONG UNIVERSITY offers educational opportunities and skill-building workshops to equip participants with the knowledge and abilities necessary to pursue alternative paths to success.

  • Legal Compliance Support:

We provide comprehensive support to help participants navigate legal requirements, including court mandates, probationary conditions, and other legal obligations.

Key Components of the Program:

1. Individualized Support:

  • Each participant receives personalized case management and support services to address their unique needs and challenges.

2. Group Workshops and Counseling:

  • Group sessions and counseling are offered to facilitate positive peer interactions, address behavioral issues, and promote personal development.

3. Skill-Building Workshops:

  • Workshops cover a range of topics, including conflict resolution, anger management, communication skills, and vocational training, to empower participants with practical skills for success.

4. Mentorship and Role Modeling:

  • Participants are paired with mentors who serve as positive role models, offering guidance, encouragement, and support throughout their journey.

5. Community Engagement and Outreach:

  • We collaborate with community partners, law enforcement agencies, and other stakeholders to create a supportive network and facilitate access to resources for participants.

6. Experiential Trips and Activities:

  • Through experiential trips and activities, youth have the opportunity to explore new environments, build teamwork skills, and expand their horizons beyond the boundaries of their community.  

STRONG currently runs two  community-based University programs, one serving  Nassau County and a second program serving the Brentwood, Central Islip and Bayshore area.

🗺️  See where they are located on our programs map.

The University Program is designed to:

  1. Educate at-risk and gang-involved youth on the dangers of gang and youth violence,

  2. Address the cognitive, emotional and social needs that encourage gang involvement,

  3. Aid families in taking supportive roles in the lives of their children,

  4. Encourage and teach youth to be active agents of positive change in their community,

  5. Promote a comprehensive treatment approach by providing necessary referrals.

Our program includes :
  • Mental health services (including specialized services to address chronic trauma)

  • Family-centered case management services including  criminal justice  and educational advocacy

  • Psychoeducational group sessions aimed at  assisting youth in learning emotional regulation, impulse control,  anger management and critical thinking skills

  • Specialized mentoring relationships utilizing credible messengers (previously street and/or system involved adults)  which include “life changing” experiences, or activities that can trigger a commitment to change.  This includes community service projects, trips, and college tours, among others allowing us to extend engagement beyond court mandates. 

  • Transformative Circles and Healing Practices
    - Joven Noble (Boys Rites of Passage): A youth leadership development program that supports and guides youth through their “rites of passage” process while focusing on the prevention of substance abuse, teen pregnancy, relationship violence, gang violence, and school failure.

    Girasol & Xinachtli (Female Rites of Passage): Girasol and Xinachtli are comprehensive and culturally competent bicultural youth character development curricula designed to provide teen girls the guidance for healthy development into adulthood. Based on indigenous principles of the individual’s interconnectedness to the family, the community, and nation, this curriculum provides a dialectic process while supporting and building on the strengths of the individual.

S.T.R.O.N.G. University Program

S.T.R.O.N.G. University Program

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Discover our University Program and hear from the youth we support
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Working with "at-risk"* students, their families, and schools to alleviate academic and behavioral challenges

Combining food and community with hands-on education on farming and mindfulness for children and adults

Giving workshops, assemblies and professional development sessions

Promoting positive identity formation, development of higher stages of moral reasoning and providing youth with the skills and support they need

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