The youth will learn to discover their individual “spark”, recognize the tough situations they may face, and empower them to rise above the challenges. The objective of this program is to help youth develop positive self-esteem, grit, open-mindedness, empathy, coping skills, and goal setting.

SESSION TOPICS

Choices provides students with an overview of the program and focuses on ensuring that students realize that they are constantly making choices in their daily lives. It demonstrates every choice made has a consequence and that consequences are positive and negative and will always have an impact. The impact is not always on the individual who is making the choice, but others may be impacted as well. Students are taught a strategy to think about before making choices (“Stop, Think, and Go!) Or (“Take a step back…before you react!”), which will be reinforced through the entire 6 weeks. Discussions on peer pressure and other influences on our choices that take place during this session. Students learn that the choices they make will determine the life they live and lead.

Self-Esteem focuses on the development of self-esteem. It provides students with tools to cope with negative peer pressure, bad influences, and bullying. It encourages students to identify their “sparks” which are the things they are passionate about and give their life purpose and focus. It teaches students how to set goals and anticipate risk factors so they can remain on a successful path towards those goals.

Teasing, Bullying And Cyberbullying provides students with a self-assessment regarding their behavior when interacting with their peers. It allows students to consider that behaviors that view and may engage in labeled as friendly teasing or playing around can actually be bullying and have detrimental consequences for others. The intent of a friendly tease can be perceived differently by the recipient and may damage self-esteem and be hurtful to others.

“Extinguishing someone’s spark” is a form of bullying. It introduces “mindset” and teaches students to be aware of the impact their words and actions have on others and how technology can negatively impact this behavior. It examines school and civil laws and regulations against bullying and cyberbullying, while demonstrating consequences. It focuses on the role the “upstander” plays.

Risks And Dangers of Media Influences, The Cyber/Virtual-Worlds and Predators is an extension of the previous lesson and it is delivered in a group discussion format to engage students. It relates real life events and situations where media influences, the cyber/virtual worlds, peers and predators have endangered the lives of children. The students have the opportunity to learn from their peers and real life events regarding these issues. The use of media clips, news articles, and anecdotes help the Instructor bring the message to students, that the risks are closer to home than they may be aware. It also demonstrates how easy it is for predators to access personal information and use it to prey on their victims. Identifies “spark champions” or trusted adults that they can go to for help.

Being Aware of Your Health and Coping with Stress teaches that stress is an unavoidable factor in our lives which can result in many emotions and can become a factor in making poor choices; therefore leading towards negative and destructive behavior. It helps students identify the dangers and challenges resulting from the use and abuse of legal and illegal substances; alcohol, tobacco, medications, legal and illegal drugs.

Communication and Conflict Resolution Skills focuses on the importance of communicating effectively and developing successful conflict resolution skills. It stresses that conflict is a normal part of life which people can respond to in different ways; passively, aggressively, and assertively. When handled properly, conflict can provide numerous benefits for everyone involved. This session also stresses the importance of practicing proper social/communication skills especially needed in this era of advanced technology.