Young people with juvenile justice involvement face many challenges, which may include a lack of education and employment skills, antisocial attitudes and values, unstable housing, and much more. These challenges make it difficult for them to pursue educational pursuits or enter the workforce and become productive citizens. Too often, these challenges continue into adulthood and become overwhelming barriers to success in the workplace and beyond.
STRIVE International is working to help young people who become involved in the juvenile justice system to improve their educational and employment outcomes. STRIVE has operated workforce development programs for adults since the 1980s. As the organization turned its attention to serving young people, in 2012, it was soon apparent that it would need to develop a different approach from that of its adult curriculum. With support from the Youth Development Institute, STRIVE has taken an iterative approach to developing its program model, employing socioemotional learning principles to provide young people with an opportunity for self-discovery, personal assessment, and goal setting. The program, now known as Future Leaders, provides workforce development, educational support, mentoring, occupational training for high-demand industries, work experience, service learning, leadership training, legal services, and case management.