Help for At-Risk Youth

April 3rd, 2013

As the divide between the “haves” and the “have nots” widens, there is little doubt that the United States is failing some of its most vulnerable people in need of care and support. At-Risk Teens are imperiled on a daily basis at home, at school and in their communities. According to Bureau of Justice Statistics, the pattern of violent crimes against adolescents is rising at an alarming rate; while at the same time, the drop-out rate escalates at a record high. This comes on the heels of a CDC report that directly tied academic performance to various indicators of future success and well-being of our nation’s youth. Not surprisingly, the inability to maintain good academic standing very often has more to do with poor attendance based on outside factors, such as family and home life, gang activity, poverty, pregnancy, bullying, and drugs. Unfortunately, these ongoing challenges thwart many of our nation’s at-risk youth as they try to break the cycles of inequity that bar them from mainstream avenues leading toward success and stability.

That’s why in 2003, The Lionheart Foundation launched The National Emotional Literacy Project for Youth-At-Risk. This project consists of two major programs: Power Source and Power Source Parenting. Looking at Power Source, it is a unique book/curriculum/program that helps highly at-risk youth and young adults discover the best in themselves.  The program is both preventative and rehabilitative.  Power Source can be read by youth on their own, or the concepts, exercises and numerous firsthand stories by youth can be introduced and explored in facilitated groups or during individual counseling.

The centerpiece of the Power Source Program is the book/curriculum Power Source: Taking Charge of Your Life written by psychologist Bethany Casarjian, Ph.D.  and Houses of Healing author Robin Casarjian, M.A.  It is augmented by the Power Source Facilitator’s Manual and the Power Source Video Series.

Many front line professionals have given us glowing feedback about the program.  Jane Guttman, who has worked extensively in support of highly at risk youth for more than four decades, most recently in the juvenile justice system, has this to say about Power Source:

“I read Power Source: Taking Charge of Your Life. It’s a really good book. Im in youth detention. I got locked up because I thought no one had loved me but I learned from the book how to deal with that because I was going to become a crip but the book taught me a lot about not getting in a gang. Ever since I read the book I learned how to meditation. I didn’t like it at 1st but I got use to it so when I get mad I go move away from the problem and start to meditate. If I didn’t read this book I wouldn’t have known how to take charge of my life. I also had things that was said in the book happen to me a lot of it but I hope for a good future. When I leave detention I’m going to finish high school and get a job then go to college for automotive. I had fixed a lot of my problems I had with my friends and family members. Thanks for writing the book.”
Michael 18 years old Nashville, TN

Power Source can be read individually or used in facilitator-led groups. The material is appropriate for virtually any organization serving the needs of highly at-risk adolescents, including juvenile institutions, detention centers, drug treatment programs, private and public schools, and a variety of community-based programs.

For more information about Lionheart’s Youth Program Click Here