- BRAAF offers two (2) “Africentric Youth & Families Rites of Passage” (ROP) after-school programs. One for boys and one for girls. Middle school age youth (11-13) and their families are encouraged to apply HERE
- Programs run for the entire length of the school year (from October to June). Families can only participate once. A full commitment is required for optimal outcomes.
- Programs are facilitated in 3 hour sessions and include weekly modules of skill and knowledge, history/culture, outings, retreats and extracurricular and enrichment activities.
- Girls’ ROP runs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM, on Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM.
- Boys ROP runs on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM.
- No need to worry, transportation* pick-up from local schools and return home, healthy snacks and a hot nourishing meal is provided each program day.
BRAAF programs are designed to serve the whole family, even extended family. Consequently, parent participation is mandatory for youth participation in the Africentric Youth & Family Rites of Passage programs. Others involved in the child’s life are welcome and strongly encouraged to participate in the parent and family services offered:
- Guiding Good Choices Parent Certification Course
- Monthly Empowerment Dinners – The entire family is invited to have dinner with us…on us!
- On-site or in-home individual, group, and/or family therapy offered.
- Graduation and Elevation Ceremony | Mandatory
Rites of Passage
Emphasizing youth interacting with other youth to develop positive lifestyles, and positive solutions to life problems by recognizing their strengths, talents, and abilities is the core concept of the Africentric Youth & Family Rites of Passage Programs. This highly therapeutic culture-specific after-school intervention seeks to build character in young African-American youth. We believe the concept of building character will ultimately translate into better school performance, more respectful behaviors, stronger family bonds, and community assets.
Under the guidance of well-trained and committed staff, experts from the community, and a council of Community Elders who have a genuine commitment to their passage youth will internalize the Afro-centric principles by which youth and their families can become constructive contributors to their families and community, through a positive appreciation of themselves and their culture.
Who Qualifies . . .
- African American and Bi-racial youth in middle school;
- African American and Bi-racial youth and their parents/guardians who have experienced racism, discrimination and violence;
- African American and Bi-racial youth and their parents/guardians identified through the criminal justice system, diversion programs, churches and religious organizations, community-based programs and local schools; and
- Meet the minimum criteria as defined and set forth in the PEI Screening Tool.
The primary program goals of this project are to reduce the risk of developing mental health problems and to increase resiliency and skill development for the African American population of the Desert Region. The program provides services in culturally appropriate settings, incorporating African-American philosophies and traditions. The setting for service delivery is non-traditional and assists participants in feeling comfortable seeking services from staff that are knowledgeable and capable of identifying needs and solutions for African-American families and individuals.
The services are designed to work together in a unique approach to prevention and early intervention services. Families Achieving Success engages the African American community by working within the community and collaborating with schools, community organizations, faith-based organizations, and other individuals, groups, and/or services that have the trust of, connection with and desire to build resiliency in African-American families.
Guiding Good Choices
Completing the 5-week Guiding Good Choices (GGC) certification course equips parents to utilize contemporary discipline techniques, cultivate healthier relationships, become superior advocates, communicate effectively accept the unique characteristics of their children, and raise confident children. Completing the Guiding Good Choices Workshop is mandatory to participate in the after-school component of the program.
Dr. David Hawkins and Dr. Richard Catalano developed the program based on the social development model, which holds that strong bonding to positive influences reduces problematic behaviors, such as delinquency and substance abuse. Combined research has identified both risk and protective factors in the development of behavior problems. Risk factors include a low level of communication between parents and children, poorly defined and communicated expectations for children’s behavior, excessively severe and inconsistent discipline, and high levels of negative interaction or family conflict. Protective factors include regular communication or parental warmth and affection, presentation of clear and pro-social expectations, monitoring of children, and consistent and moderate discipline. Guiding Good Choices (GGC) is a prevention and early intervention program that provides users with the knowledge and skills needed to guide children through early adolescence. The program seeks to strengthen and clarify family expectations for behavior, enhance the conditions that promote bonding within the family and teach skills that allow children to resist making poor choices. Sessions are interactive and skills-based, with the opportunity for parents to practice new skills and receive feedback, and use video-based vignettes to demonstrate parenting skills. Families also receive a family guide containing family activities, discussion topics, skill-building exercises, and information on positive parenting.
The program is divided into five 90 minute sessions. Each session has a particular theme and parents are given activities to complete at home with the entire family.
Enriching Field Trips
What’s In It For My Family?
Family Empowerment Dinners are fun, socially interactive, culturally relevant meetings for the entire family of ROP participants to improve their effectiveness as the primary positive influence in the lives of their youth. MPE empowers parents to succeed and reinforces parents’ sense of pride in themselves, their community, their history, and race. Family Empowerment Dinners are built upon the following guiding principles:
- Parents want what is best for their children.
- Parents know best what they need to be effective parents.
- Parents learn best when they are involved in selecting the topics they want to focus on.
- Given the right information and resources, parents will make the best choices for their children.
A fun parental meet-up facilitated by compassionate staff in the context of an empowering culture that:
- Treats parents with respect
- Believes that parents want their children to reach their fullest potential
- Supports the entire/extended family
- Establishes an inviting family gathering place
Parents are required to attend a minimum of six (6) monthly empowerment dinners.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Families that experience conflict, coercion, high levels of stress, and/ or physical and verbal abuse create a substantial risk to children for the development of significant psychiatric, behavioral, and difficulties, including aggression, poor interpersonal skills/functioning, and emotional reactivity. Caregivers in such families often report punitive or excessive parenting practices, frequent anger and hyperarousal, high stress levels, and negative appreciation of child attributions, among other stressful conditions. BRAAF understands the difficulties of effectively parenting African American children and offer therapeutic interventions to youth, parents, and families.
Counseling is offered to families in individual, group, and family formats. To help alleviate the barriers associated with accessing therapeutic services, BRAAF offers counseling on-site, and in the home.
The BRAAF counseling approach emphasizes training in intra- and interpersonal skills development to enhance self-control and reduce negative behavior. BRAAF focuses on implementing effective strategies for the treatment of family conflict, coercive parenting, and children with externalizing behavior problems. The primary goal of our counseling is to help build greater family cohesion.
Parent Support Group
Parenting African American children have unique challenges and can often feel like an isolated experience. The benefits of joining a support group that understands the uniqueness of effectively parenting African American children can have innumerable benefits and can be a tremendous source of strength, comfort, and healing. BRAAF parent support group is co-facilitated by a licensed clinician and a parent partner who has completed the Guiding Good Choices parent certification course. This highly confidential and safe environment focuses on topics of interest and concern for the parents. The parent support group meetings are held on the second and fourth Monday of each week from October through June. Dinner/refreshments are provided. Following are but a few benefits of our parent support group:
- You realize you are not alone.
- Discuss parenting concerns, joys, and questions in a safe, compassionate environment.
- Share your frustrations- Sometimes any and everything will frustrate you…
- Give and receive free, ongoing, confidential support.
- Learn new communication skills and effective parenting strategies.
- Expand your capacity to effectively advocate for your children’s needs, as well as your own.
- Benefit from ongoing training, coaching and technical assistance, and program materials.
- Build on your parenting and leadership strengths.
- Cultivate positive relationships with other parents and foster shared leadership in your community.
- Learn about community resources that can benefit you, your children, and your family.
*Transportation depends on number of students from a general geographical area and need. Transportation may not be available for all students, however, every effort will be made to provide transportation to every student who needs it.