BUW support continues to fund Sexual Health Education, Mentoring, Apprenticeship, & Youth Development Programs for South County youth
June 2014…………….Railroad Street Youth Project (RSYP), a community-based non-profit dedicated to youth development and empowerment, is pleased to announce that Berkshire United Way (BUW) has extended funding through June 2015 to support RSYP’s Sexual Health Education, Mentoring program, and Youth Development programs for teens and young adults ages 14-25 in South County.
The grant includes continued funding for RSYP’s Youth Leadership and Drop-in Center programming, Sexual Health Initiative with Berkshire Hills Regional School District and Multicultural BRIDGE, and Mentoring Program.
In addition, BUW will continue to fund RSYP’s Apprenticeship Program (RAP) through a collaboration with Construct, Inc., a non-profit supporting the needs of homeless and low income people in South County. The Railroad Street Apprenticeship Program (RAP), launched in 2006, matches the inspirations of young people to the resources of the community. RAP meets the unmet vocational and educational needs of at-risk South Berkshire youth and young adults, and prepares them for the workplace by providing valuable skills and experience and in many cases a job opportunity working with local area businesses.
RSYP’s Youth Leadership and Drop-in Center programming include a staffed and substance-free Drop-in Center open Monday through Friday for community youth; the Youth Operational Board that nurtures youth-generated ideas; one-on-one drop-in Counseling and Advocacy services; supporting youth delegates to the United Nations International Day of Peace and other trips to the United Nations; youth-generated programming around substance abuse, and Real Talk, RSYP’s newest initiative to be launched this fall in collaboration with Multicultural BRIDGE and aimed at creating a safe space where youth can dialogue about their experiences and engage each other across social differences.
RSYP’s Sexual Health and Peer Education Programs, offered in collaboration with the Southern Berkshire and Berkshire Hills Regional School Districts and Bard College at Simon’s Rock, empower young people to take the lead and identify methods to improve access to health services and education in the area of sexual health and reproductive justice. With the support of BUW, RSYP and BHRSD will launch a new teacher training program and education-based curriculum to help young people view sexuality in the context of relationships, focusing on social skills as a key component of making responsible and healthy decisions. Additionally, RSYP will team with Multicultural BRIDGE to implement a parent education series using the Let’s Be Honest/Seamos Honestos parent education curriculum designed to help parents be successful sexual health educators in their homes.
RSYP’s Mentoring Program facilitates interest-based matches between youth age 14-19 with volunteer adult mentors from their community. BUW’s grant will be used to continue to support existing and new mentor partnerships.
For more information, contact RSYP Executive Director AnandaTimpane at 413-528-2475.
About Berkshire United Way: Berkshire United Way is committed to improving the quality of life in Berkshire County by mobilizing resources to address community priorities and create sustainable change. For more information visit www.berkshireunitedway.org
About Railroad Street Youth Project: RSYP empowers young people by supporting youth-inspired projects that promote responsibility, self-worth and intergenerational communication. For more information visit www.rsyp.org