The STRONG UNIVERSITY program is our gang, gun and youth violence intervention program for youth between the ages of 14-21 years old that are disconnected from the school system, have been in contact with the criminal justice system and are either gang affiliated or gang involved. The University program seeks to decrease recidivism by promoting positive identity formation, development of higher stages of moral reasoning and providing youth with the education, skills, and support they need to complete legal requirements.
The University Program is designed to:
Educate at-risk and gang-involved youth on the dangers of gang and youth violence,
Address the cognitive, emotional and social needs that encourage gang involvement,
Aid families in taking supportive roles in the lives of their children,
Encourage and teach youth to be active agents of positive change in their community,
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 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.
- Xinachtli Female Rites of Passage: Xinachtli is a comprehensive and culturally competent bicultural youth character development process 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.
STRONG currently runs two community-based University programs, one serving Nassau County and a second program serving the Brentwood, Central Islip and Bayshore area.