Youth With Faces recently launched career education programs with Collin County Juvenile Probation Services.
The North Texas nonprofit stated the purpose of the program is to give “young men and women in the juvenile justice system a second chance at being more than a faceless statistic.” It aims to do so by teaching participants employable skills and a network of support.
In the organization’s press release, H. Lynn Hadnot, the director of Collin County Juvenile Probation Services, said the department is excited about the new collaboration.
“Our youth often come from hard or difficult places, and it is critically important to provide them with life and career skills that will help them successfully navigate the challenges they face in their respective circumstances,” Hadnot said.
“The Juvenile Probation Department is excited for the opportunities our kids and families are being afforded with this partnership. The acquired skills, coupled with reentry support services, will change the life trajectory for so many kids and families, foster community protection, and build better and stronger communities,” Hadnot added.
Juvenile residents in Collin County will be able to earn a Food Handler or Food Manager Certification through food safety and culinary lessons. They will also be able to utilize a Career Readiness program to prepare for future employment opportunities.
According to the press release, Youth With Faces wants to help juveniles establish personal and career goals before they return to their home communities.
Chris Quadri, the nonprofit’s CEO, stressed the importance of supporting juveniles while teaching them responsibility.
“It’s important that we hold youth accountable without holding them back. We strive to foster a collaborative community that complements our work-and-life-skills education programs and connects youth to community-based resources,” Quadri said. “And, we are grateful for Collin County’s partnership in helping juvenile residents develop character, connections, and capabilities to overcome challenges and fulfill their personal goals for success.”
Hadnot noted that Youth With Faces has a proven track record of success.
“Youth with Faces has established itself as a service-provider leader in working with at-risk and delinquent youth, with an extensive track record of proven outcomes. Their broad array of transferrable support services has already fostered tangible improvement for youth accountability due to both personal and group desire to participate in the programming. The impact of this program will go well beyond their involvement in the juvenile justice system,” Hadnot said.
The nonprofit said 75% of participants who go through Youth With Faces have a job within the first year of being back home. Additionally, fewer than 13% of students who completed the program returned to juvenile detention, compared to a statewide recidivism rate of 66%.
Jazminda Ryan was brought into the agency as the director of programs in January. She will be overseeing the Collin County programs, as well as the future growth of Youth With Faces. According to the press release, she has both a master of public administration degree and a doctorate in education from Grand Canyon University.
Youth With Faces is “building a network of Collin County-based employers and volunteers to support justice-involved youth on their journey to success,” the organization said.
The expansion into Collin County was made possible through partnerships with United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, Trigger’s Toys, and Communities Foundation of Texas.
The organization has been working with juvenile residents in the Dallas area since 2001.