The Community Alliance for Youth (CAY) harnesses community resources to support programs and services that foster the positive development of all Clark County Youth and their families.
The Alliance serves those who work with youth by providing professional development, sharing promising practices, initiating local quality benchmarks, creating opportunities for networking, increasing access to youth data, and increasing access to funding through collaboration. Housed within the Hagen Center, the Alliance has also used OJJDP grant funds on the Wittenberg campus to support the development of community based service learning courses, student internships, assessment of youth programs, professional development for community service students, America Reads tutors, and pre-service teachers.
Ongoing activities that support the Alliance’s mission include bi-annual professional development conferences and a weeklong summer training institute. Since November 2009, 1,933 participants have attended 7,732 hours of training provided by 125 partners. Conferences include formal training sessions with national, regional and local experts as well as guided networking opportunities focused on sharing best practices related to direct service, fundraising, marketing, and the implementation of evidence-based practice and assessment. The Alliance releases a Status of Youth Report every other year that provides the basis for new programs, and provides evidence of local need that is useful for fundraising and collaborating.
Continuing our efforts for youth development, the CAY launched the Youth Mental Health First Aid program targeting high school students. Starting the fall semester 2014, Wittenberg students, along with area high school teachers and counselors, were trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid curriculum, a national evidence based training that teaches a 5-step action plan when dealing with crisis situations. During the winter of 2015, we extended this training to area high school students who will be ambassadors at their schools. These students, partnered with Wittenberg students, are working in the schools planning Mental Health Awareness activities for the end of the school year.
In the Fall of 2015, the CAY will launch a Youth Leadership Academy that builds self-determination and college readiness through service and ensures 50% participation from 7 -12th grade at-risk youth.