Life Skills for Youths in South Central Los Angeles Housing Developments
The South Central Prevention Coalition (SCPC) created a series of substance abuse prevention programs for youth living in 12 low- to moderate-income housing developments in south central Los Angeles.
The programs were designed to:
- Improve academic skills.
- Instill leadership skills through mentoring.
- Develop teen peer counselors to discuss substance abuse and violence with younger youth.
Some 150 youth enrolled in the after-school program during the RWJF funding period. This represents approximately 50 percent of all youth targeted in the housing developments.
Eleven high school students mentored 40 middle school students in developing the idea of teamwork and in promoting cooperative attitudes. Mentoring took place in leadership camps and a sports camp. The tutoring program was not implemented because academic assessments of students could not be completed before the grant ended.
Fifteen adults and 10 high school youth participated in a 12-week program that trained the participants to serve as community advocates for an anti-tobacco campaign based in the housing developments. The training program culminated with an event entitled A Day of Awareness and Prevention, in which community leaders and organizations participated.
Ten high school leaders held monthly peer counseling classes for about 30 younger children on the subjects of anger management, tobacco use, and management of emotions.