New Pathways for Youth (NPFY) is a local Phoenix non-profit that serves youth, ages 12-21, experiencing poverty and experiencing four times the adversity of other youth—adversities such as parent incarceration, abuse and neglect, substance abuse, and high school dropout. Through 1:1 mentoring in connected communities, personal development and life skills retreats and workshops, youth can create breakthroughs in self-destructive thought patterns that lead to actions consistent with the future they want.
“During these stressful times, it’s common for them to revert to old habits that are self-destructive and dangerous. And, devastatingly, many of them don’t have a safe and supportive home that can serve as a sanctuary for them.” – Marlo Dykeman, Corporation and Foundation Grants Manager | New Pathways for Youth.
To be proactive during these unprecedented times, New Pathways for Youth has adjusted their existing program activities to tailor towards the well-being and immediate needs of youth, including safety at home, protection against self-harm and other destructive behaviors. These changes include:
New Pathways for Youth is essential to helping the youth in our community now more than ever and with the help from the United for the Valley COVID-19 fund, they are closing the gap and increasing their services to meet the safety and wellbeing of the most vulnerable youth in our community. One of the ways they have maintained consistent contact between youth and mentors, is weekly webinars with workshop facilitators to revisit a NPFY curriculum concept and how it applies during these times.
One youth in particular who has benefited from our enhanced services, recognized that he was reverting back to old patterns of self-harming behaviors and was contemplating using cutting as a coping mechanism to deal with the challenges and uncertainty he was experiencing from navigating implications of COVID-19. Thanks to funding received from the United for the Valley COVID-19 Fund, his mentor was receiving increased case management twice a month and was encouraged by his case manager to check in with his youth more frequently. These increased points of contact enabled the mentor to respond quickly and provide the tools that empowered the youth to take action. As a result, the mentor was able to intervene at a critical time, supporting his youth by creating a contract with him that encouraged the youth to recognize thoughts that lead to self-harming behaviors and how to implement a more positive response to stress and anxiety.
Now more than ever, our youth needs organizations like New Pathways for Youth and Valley of the Sun United Way to come together and UNITE to help at-risk youth be the best versions of themselves, and feel supported in every way.
For more information on grants distributed in the community, please read our ‘Response Report’ that covers our organization’s first seven weeks of local response, March 20-May 8, 2020. The report is available at www.vsuw.org/covidreport.
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