Girls RAP Graduation!
The Girls Resolution and Prevention (RAP) is an intervention program that works with 125 girls each year, ages 12 through 18, who are involved (or at risk of becoming involved) in the juvenile justice system. Through this program, we help participants resolve their offense and stay out of the criminal justice system by building skills and motivation for positive life choices, as well as healthy relationships with peers and adults.
What is Girls RAP?
Girls RAP is partnered with Headway Emotional Services which serves as a youth referral source. These youth may be in the pre- or post-charge status of their juvenile justice system involvement. Once referred, Girls RAP engages with them for 12 weeks in structured programming and 12 months for continued support. Girls RAP has recently established a new partnership with Children of Incarcerated Caregivers (CIC). This partnership serves to expand the youth criteria to include those who have indirect experience with the justice system. Research shows that children who have a parent involved in the justice system are more likely to offend themselves or engage with social services. This partnership aligns with the preventative component of the program and increases its utilization.
First Graduation Since March 2022
Girls RAP graduated the first youth group since March 2022, in December 2022! The three youth had successfully completed the empowerment curriculum and gathered to celebrate their commitment and achievement. Family, friends and YWCA Minneapolis staff joined them. During the graduation ceremony, each young person was given a chance to share what they enjoyed about programming and hear encouragement from program staff.
One youth, A.I., admitted that she was upset when she learned she had to do the program, but she enjoyed the talks. Laughs, goals and contact information were exchanged that energized the room.
Girls RAP has already started the next group session, with a record eight participating youth! As a team, we are excited to see the group dynamics and individual growth.