ARCHS' mentoring program helped youth associated with Missouri Division of Youth Services (DYS) learn how to program robots through computer code by the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL) 4-H program on October 18, 2014. The youth practiced making their robots move forward, reverse, and turn through specific coding, and also discussed career opportunities related to the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) field.
Earlier this year, other participating youth toured to the Metropolitan, Education, & Training (MET) Center to learn about construction prep, and also St. Louis Community College to learn about computer science. To help determine what careers may fit their skills and interest, the youth took the Character Occupational Relationship Evaluation (CORE) assessment.
Funds for DYS career explorations come through the City of St. Louis' Public Safety, Proposition S, Youth at Risk Crime Prevention Fund.
ONLINE REGISTRATION CLOSED.
Registration for Missouri Reentry Conference will be available on-site, which will be held November 19-21, 2014 at a new location in the Ozarks - The Lodge of the Four Seasons.
The annual Conference is sponsored by ARCHS, Missouri Department of Corrections, Missouri Department of Social Services, and Missouri Family and Community Trust (FACT).
Participants in the program are currently under state or federal supervision with probation and parole officers in St. Louis City or County. Through the ARCHS' program, they received academic culinary training leading to "ServSafe" certification. They will also receive job training from St. Louis Community College and job placement, wrap around social services support, and life skills preparation from Employment Connection.
"I've learned my lesson, but because of my past, I've been working dead-end jobs and I'm ready for my life to go on," said Matika Kelley. "The Institute is opening up a lot of doors for me, and I feel like the chain and ball have been taken off of me. I'm tired of being condemned for something I did several years ago, and this opportunity will let me show what I'm all about."
The program will allow participants access to career paths as a chef, head cook, line cook, institutional cook, and more in the culinary field. According to a National Institute of Corrections Report, the number of incarcerated women has skyrocketed, at rates exceeding men
"We provide a safe environment for these guys to come in and not worry about beefs and whatever is going on out in the streets," Dace said. "We get a plethora of different personalities- guys with criminal records, guys fresh out of the penitentiary, and guys in college. The guys in college mentor some of these guys who are in the streets, and the guys in the streets mentor the guys in college and tell them to keep doing what they are doing. It goes both ways."
The St. Louis NITES Basketball League is a partnership between ARCHS, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, St. Louis Department of Parks, Recreation, and Forestry, and Fathers' Support Center. Approximately 250 men between the ages of 18-35 form 10 teams for an 11-week basketball league. Police officers coach the teams in the league.
To play in the league, participants are required to take six life skills classes coordinated by Fathers' Support Center, which teach the young men about topics ranging from health and fitness, to financial literacy, to STD prevention, to fatherhood responsibilities.
"The life skills class is the lifeblood of this program," Dace said. "These guys can play basketball almost anywhere, but the real product they leave with is what they get from life skills, because they can use and apply what they learn anywhere.
Over the past five school years, Kids Vision for Life has screened 38,565 students, examined 6,478 students, and prescribed 5,580 eyeglasses.
Kids Vision for Life provides free eye screenings to students in K-8 at identified St. Louis area (Title 1) schools. Free eye examinations are provided to students who fail the screening, and students who fail the examinations are given a free pair of eyeglasses. Vision disorders are the most prevalent handicapping condition in U.S. children, particularly with special needs children.
Resources to support Kids Vision for Life are provided by ARCHS, Crown Vision Center, Essilor Vision Foundation, University of Missouri-St. Louis School of Optometry (mobile van), as well as individual and corporate donors.
PHOTO GALLERY: KVFL FUNDRAISER