[photo:  Youth Education Specialist Ahuitz Romo-Gonzalez shows off two posters used in REAL Resiliency Workshops]

In January 2019, CCEJ launched an innovative program to help guide young people away from the criminal justice system: REAL (Redefining Empowerment through Accountability and Learning) Resiliency for Youth.

In REAL Resiliency, youth develop empathy, gain confidence, build community and make empowering choices by reflecting on the challenges they face in life. Below, participants share their experiences:

  • “I have been impacted by the school-to-prison pipeline because I had to change schools for something I did that was stupid that I should have never done in my entire life. My parents were impacted as well because they have to drive a longer distance for parent-teacher conferences, back-to-school nights, etc.”
  • “I learned that there are multiple ways to resolve conflict.”
  • “Everyone goes through things and you just have to be willing to care enough to understand them.”
  • “I learned that I’m not the only one that has gone through these challenges.”

REAL Resiliency offers the following workshops to youth:

Foundational Workshops focus on 3 topics which lay the groundwork for discussing specific life challenges:
Paving My Own Path (Navigating the School-to-Prison Pipeline)
In My Feelings (Emotional Literacy)
Thrive Not Survive (Conflict Resolution)

Focus Workshops are centered on additional topics such as:
Gender IDentity & Me
Intersecting Our Stories (U.S. Systems & Culture)
Healthy Relationships
CommUNITY Violence
Substance Use/Coping
#socialMEdia

CCEJ’s team of volunteer facilitators will have conducted workshops with 30 middle and high school-aged youth by the end of March. CCEJ’s hope is that the workshops will cultivate youth’s critical thinking skills and allow them to make positive and impactful contributions to their schools, families and communities.  If you know a youth who would benefit, please contact Youth Education Specialist Ahuitz Romo-Gonzalez at 562-435-8184 or email aromoATcacej.org to discuss enrollment.

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