By securing more than $730,000 in federal funding earlier this year, Congressman Peter Aguilar has catalyzed an unprecedented collaboration between Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Inland Empire, Young Visionaries Leadership Academy, and The LOVE Program to ensure Inland Empire youth have access to the tools and support they need to have brighter futures. The dynamic partnership between three of our region’s leading youth empowerment organizations has given rise to a transformational endeavor: the “Empowering Youth Resilience and Promoting Social Emotional Healing” program.
At the time of launch in September 2023, the innovative initiative is set to change the lives of 75 young people in San Bernardino who are currently facing or have experienced trauma, abuse, and drug exposure (including opioids and methamphetamine use and family members grappling with addiction.) The collaborative’s culturally competent, comprehensive care model will address the mental and emotional well-being of our youth. Moreover, it aims to substantially reduce recidivism rates among youth who have been exposed to violence and substance abuse.
“This funding is a direct investment in Inland Empire youth and the future leaders of our community. I will always prioritize the needs of young people and will continue to work closely with our local agencies and non-profits to secure more funding for San Bernardino.”Congressman Peter Aguilar
What sets this project apart is the wealth of experience and proven track record these organizations bring together. Young Visionaries, The LOVE Program, and Big Brothers Big Sisters have collectively touched the lives of over 85,000 at-risk to high-risk youth since their inception. By uniting their programmatic expertise under one project, the children and young people served will receive preventative, intervening, and wrap-around services, such as mentoring, case management, counseling, and academic support.
“This partnership is a beacon of hope and a testament to the transformative power of unity, compassion, and a shared vision for a brighter future. Thanks to the support of Congressman Peter Aguilar, we are forging a one-of-a-kind collaborative effort for our youth as our trio of dedicated organizations aim to inspire and equip the next generation of leaders with the skills and opportunities they need to thrive.”Terrance Stone, President and CEO of Young Visionaries Leadership Academy
The “Empowering Youth Resilience and Promoting Social Emotional Healing” program strives for true equity by innovatively bridging the social capital divide through mentoring. It establishes an environment of psychological safety, ensuring that mental health services are accessible and effective. And it offers leadership and job skills to empower these young minds, redirecting them from the grips of substance abuse and violence towards positive alternatives.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Inland Empire, Young Visionaries, The LOVE Program serve youth aged 6 to 21, encompassing those who have experienced homelessness, abuse, foster care, or involvement in the justice system. With a focus on individualized services that leverage the strengths of each youth, their collaborative goal is to foster long-term success, safety, and well-being within their homes, schools, and communities.