Keeping It Safe (KIS) offers age-specific health and life skills courses that convert a youth’s time in detention or alternative school into an opportunity to learn key Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) skills and adopt a growth mindset, helping them take control of their lives and successfully reintegrate into their communities. To design our program, Success Centers partnered with facilitators and advocates who specialize in age-appropriate appropriate health programming, to ensure we use best practices in our program. We employ well-tested, well-received prevention and intervention strategies. By meeting in small group sessions, marginalized youth develop the SEL skills that lead to building self-esteem, negotiating safer sex practices, and making positive decisions. The program teaches crucial information regarding the benefits of delaying teen pregnancy, healing from trauma, avoiding sexual exploitation, and developing healthy relationships with themselves and others.
KIS activities include special speakers, health professionals, former teen parents, and individuals living with HIV/AIDS who share statistics, personal testimonies, and answer questions, providing youth with a well-rounded perspective of healthy sexual and relational practices. KIS also offers youth gang prevention and intervention strategies, such as a snapshot into the gang member’s true place in society; the needs and risk factors underlying joining/leaving a gang, anti-social behavior, the gang mindset, and gang violence; and skills to identify personal triggers that lead to individuals reverting to the behaviors that were socially acceptable while in the gang. These anti-gang strategies allow participants to identify personal risk factors and develop action plans to address them.