Provide an alternative state-of-the-art holistic educational and living environment for at-risk youth.
PROBLEM; Most Youths in Kyangwali detained by police last year were not enrolled in school. “In school drop out youths were likely to have less favorable outcomes than in school youth that commit comparable offenses. In 2000, using reported data and a comprehensive qualitative process - where key stakeholders were interviewed and focus group sessions were held with individuals actively involved in the juvenile justice system - there is substantive agreement that out of school youth are still over-represented when compared to their privileged in school counterparts for comparable offenses.”
Peer-community facilitators, as change agents, are rare in the development of alternative solutions to this growing problem: disenfranchised youth. THE IDEA; Spectrum is a potent answer to the current crisis facing our educational and juvenile systems today. It is a combination of a youth residential treatment center (RTC), Entreprenuerial skills training school, and community technology center (CTC). This concept encompasses the value of education as emotional rips repair, because an emotionally unavailable youth cannot learn effectively. The community technology center promotes positive social interaction while facilitating the delivery of inexpensive e-curriculum to its patrons and to the vast array of vocational schools that are struggling with the high costs of state-of-the-art education. Experience and research has shown that three critical components: a vocational school, residential treatment center, and community technology center can indeed work as one, which can profoundly affect youth in positive directions. Spectrum vocational, as a learning organization, uses a holistic systems approach toward education, treatment programs, and community engagement. Spectrum vocation’s programs meet the emotional and intellectual needs of the youth, which allows the person to grow and the student to learn while understanding the value of their education. The need for implementation of a better approach is obvious to those within the juvenile correctional and treatment systems. This business plan details a high-level framework and action plan that takes initiative using proven processes. The inclusion of a data center for e-curriculum storage, subscription, and web hosting services creates an additional revenue stream while providing computer training opportunities for the students and community. The students can develop web-businesses as well. Spectrum entrepreneurial skills are ingenious, innovative, and timely for our youth, providing an environment and leadership team that facilitate transformational educational and living experiences that truly empower the future leadership of our communities. The inclusion of a percentage of disenfranchised youth in the school population effectively cleans the fish tank instead of just wiping off the fish. The results are empowered youth who make positive choices and provide leadership for their peers. Holistic education means that the organization itself has to be aware and functional within the realms of mind, body, and spirit. On a pragmatic level, this means that we consider the ‘total system’ of a human being in process of development. Gardner found that there are multiple intelligences at work in the learning system of a student. Goleman brought emotional intelligences to our awareness. Others, like Steiner and Montessori, have attempted to address these intelligences in their own ways, whether acknowledging them outright or just by knowing there is a ‘better’ way to prepare youth for the journey of life. Csikszentmihalyi, Covey, Drucker, DeBono, Peters, and Senge are all pointing toward personal and organizational transformation through understanding the connectedness of people and process. Systems-thinking is a core competency of that kind of organization. The ‘systems’ approach here is to identify and nurture the natural skill sets of the individual in order for them to find their natural order and place within the collective, evidencing and exampling a holistic lifestyle that affects positive change. Traditional structure found in both business and education is hedging the idea of initiative and innovation through understanding the need for collaborative alliances – cooperation instead of competition. It seems our very survival, according to the analysis of socio-economic systems, depends on consumerism, cultural genocide, and environmental destruction for the sake of fossil fuels, fast foods, and corporate profits. This behavior affects our children immensely as they see no ‘common sense’ in our survival living styles. The old formulas simply do not work anymore; students are dull and listless in the classrooms, yet need healthy rites of passage. Emotionally and intellectually disenfranchised youth internalize their anger and act out in unprecedented violence toward self and others. Traditional education has not addressed the growing emotional and intellectual needs of our children; the connectedness of mind, body, and spirit. Currently, the situation regarding at-risk youth is cumbersome and oblique in regards to understanding the ‘big picture’ and the solutions necessary to empower our youth.