WRI is evaluating the implementation and impact of the Youth for Success (YFS) Initiative and gathering data on youth and families involved with the program. YFS in Cumberland County, spearheaded by The Boys and Girls Club of Vineland in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters, strives to keep at-risk youth out of the juvenile justice system. The New Jersey Office of Community Justice funds the initiative.
YFS in Cumberland County is a three-year program created to keep at-risk youth out of the juvenile justice system — helping them overcome below-average test scores, high dropout rates, poverty, and gang violence. The Initiative works with 50 at-risk middle and high school students from Bridgeton, Millville, and Vineland. The Boys and Girls Club of Vineland spearheads YFS and is working with Big Brothers Big Sisters, Family Success Centers in Bridgeton and Vineland, as well as schools and law enforcement agencies from each municipality. The program is designed to connect participating youth and their families with services such as counseling, tutoring, and substance abuse treatment. The initiative aims to 1) keep youth in school, 2) reduce future negative interactions with law enforcement, and 3) enhance positive social behaviors.