Yo Bro Yo Girl Youth Initiative is at the forefront of providing school-based programs and community presentations on drug and gang prevention strategies to students, parents, educators, community leaders, and law enforcement professionals across the Lower Mainland and beyond.

 

All of our programs achieve these key objectives:

  • - provide positive alternatives to the gangs, violence and drugs that surround youth by helping them develop a sense of belonging and positive identity

  • - assist youth in transitioning from being at-risk to having the resiliency to make safe healthy life choices

  • – offer coordinated initiatives that assess youths’ needs, identify their strengths, and engage them in our programs

  • - ensure a range of supports from one-time interventions to intensive, ongoing work with youth involvement in our programs year round

  • - empower youth to take charge of their own lives and determine their own future

 

In School Programs

 

Taking it to the Streets is a strength-based program delivered in the classroom once a week for 10 weeks. The emphasis is on goal setting, self-discipline, and skill development that improves the young person’s sense of purpose and self-determination.  Once the formal program has concluded, youth are invited to participate in weekly group activities.

 

Respectful Relationships is a ten week violence awareness and prevention program that brings boys and girls together to address the culture of violence and dispel gender stereotypes. The program helps young people develop healthy and respectful relationship skills through boundary setting, assertiveness training, safety planning, and emotional self-control.  With the generous support of Surrey City Council and the Surrey Firefighters this program has been offered in three Surrey schools.

 

KNOW means NO is our signature Yo Girl program and was developed in response to the need for schools to address the issue of violence against women. This five week program focuses on violence prevention and personal safety for young women, aged 13-19, attending local high schools and alternate education programs. With the generous support of the Vancouver Police Foundation, this program was introduced to three Vancouver schools in 2015 with great success. 

 

Street Safe is designed for elementary school students and is offered once a week during school hours throughout the school year. It includes a variety of activities to develop physical and mental strength, flexibility, agility and relaxation, as well as opportunities to connect with Yo Bro Mentors from near-by high schools. 

 

Yo Bro Yo Girl Mentors are senior members of Yo Bro Yo Girl who are co-presenters and work with children from local elementary schools. The program lasts for the duration of the school year.

 

After School Programs

 

Team Yo Bro and Team Yo Girl is an after-school program offered once per week throughout the school year and is designed to build physical fitness, personal safety skills, confidence, acceptance, and positive peer connections. Exercises are carefully selected to develop physical and mental strength, flexibility, agility, and relaxation. The program also teaches specific martial art skills, drawn from judo, jiu jitsu, qi gong, tae kwon do, yoga, and soccer, for self-defense. As self-defense is considered to be over 70% psychological, the program also focuses on such skills as assertiveness and how to heighten awareness of potentially threatening situations. Most importantly, it teaches youth how to avoid such situations.

 

Empowering Young Women is a ten week program designed to raise self-awareness, encourage self-empowerment, and teach personal safety in tandem with self-defense. The emphasis is on environmental awareness and strategies used to avoid dangerous situations with self-defense techniques that can be used in a crisis situation.  Activities are designed to identify personal strengths and challenges, perceive potential aggressive triggers and cues, and practice assertive communication to neutralize potentially violent situations without harm to self or others. 

 

Spring, Summer, and Winter Break Programs are offered daily during school breaks. The emphasis is on keeping kids connected to their school and community through a variety of activities and team building exercises to develop positive connections with peers, acceptance, and confidence to make safe and healthy choices.

 

One-To-One Support  

 

In addition to regular group programming, Yo Bro Yo Girl is often called upon to provide one-to-one support for youth facing significant challenges and adversity. Yo Bro Yo Girl partners with school counselors, law enforcement, social agencies, and family members to provide the necessary supports and develop resiliency. Being resilient is having the confidence, the skills, and the perspective to deal with adversity and setbacks so that one not only survives but emerges from the experience stronger.

 

Bro 4 Bro focuses on students who are chronically suspended from middle or high school and struggling with some of life's challenges. Referrals are made through school counsellors, administrators, School Liaison Officers, and the VPD Youth Referral Coordinator. The goal of Bro 4 Bro is to mentor and guide individual youth to make safer and healthier choices by rekindling their commitment to school, learning, and overall success in life. One-to-one support is provided until the individual is able to reconnect in a healthier manner to friends, family, school, and community. 

 

Presentations

 

Keep it Real educational presentations are reality-based and designed to bring an awareness of the current drug and gang issues facing youth. Presenters include Joe Calendino, law enforcement officers, and youth who are currently, or have been, part of Yo Bro programs.  All presentations are based on the best evidence currently available and carefully tailored to each audience’s needs.  If you would like a Yo Bro Yo Girl presentation to your school, community, or sports group, please contact us.