Youth Guidance Mentoring Academy is celebrating 50 years this year, 2023.
YG offers Group Mentoring Programs, One-on-One Mentoring, Parent-aid and Pre-Apprenticeship. YG’s focus is Life Skills, Academic Enrichment and Vocational Training. YG serves youth ages 5-24, offers After-School and Summer Programs and free nutritional meals are served daily. 100% of the youth come from low income households and most come from single parent households. There are 5178 children in poverty in Indian River County. That is 26.3% of the total youth population which indicates just how tremendous the need is.
The Youth Guidance facility is the only CAP (Child Abuse Prevention) center in Indian River County. Our club was the sponsor for getting Youth Guidance set up as an official CAP center. The center encourages parent involvement offering training in homes as well as programs at the facility and with community partners for building life skills. The facility is located at 1028 20th Place in Vero Beach.
Group mentoring covers academics, homework, reading and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
YG Life Skills program has a success rate of 93% of the youth scoring 80% or higher on proficiency evaluation. The Life Skills programs include Tutoring, Vocational Training/Pre-Apprenticeships, HVAC, Electrical, Plumbing, Welding, Carpentry, Farming and Camping, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), Computer Training and web design, Culinary Arts, Sewing Gardening, Bicycle Repair, Woodworking, Recreational Activities and Field Trips.
Since starting the vocational training 33 youth (ages 16-24) have received professional certification in pre-apprenticeship programs. They can graduate with up to 6 certifications. 7 pre-apprentice students have obtained or maintained employment in the trades. 73% of YG students 16 and up are employed or enrolled in a tech college or university. There are 1633 trades contractors in Indian River County whose average annual wage is $55,588. Trades are expected to grow 13% in the next 5 years employing almost 13,000 workers in Indian River County.
A core component of Youth Guidance is an at home intervention staff who give parent coaching and support. The first Parent Aide has been paired with a family and will spend 2 hours a week giving in-home support to the families to advocate for the kids. YG will start with one family and build from there. The goal is to have 6-8 families this first year. Youth Guidance is working with the children’s Healing Institute and other National Exchange CAP centers to tap in on ideas.
The building is soon to be renovated which will allow for the growth. The building was built in 1961 and renovated in 1990. Its current capacity is only 50 youth. The cost of the renovation will be $1.5 million and will take one to one-and-one-half years to completion. YG will be utilizing a few local school and a church locations during renovations.