The Community Youth Development (CYD) Rising Blazers program started in Summer 2020 and is sponsored by the University of North Texas at Dallas. Rising Blazers provides an array of services through partnership with service providers to promote protective factors in youth.
We focus on mentorship, post high school readiness, youth leadership development and facilitate or host a Youth Advisory Committee as well as additional youth services.
CYD Rising Blazers serve youth who live or attend school in the following zip codes:
*Programming varies between school campuses and service providers with physical location.*
Post-high school readiness includes preparing young people for their transition from school to the multiple pathways after high school graduation, equipping youth with the experiences and skills necessary to successfully manage the responsibilities required upon entering college, career, and workplace environments. Readiness is achieved by acquiring the learning competencies, intellectual capacities and experiences essential for all students to become lifelong learners; positive contributors to their families, workplaces and communities, as well as to become successfully-engaged citizens of a global 21st century. Examples include, but are not limited to:
Mentorship consists of face-to-face interactions. It focuses on facilitating an ongoing and positive relationship between the youth and a caring adult who helps the youth as he or she goes through life. In a group setting, there are no more than 4 youth to one mentor.
Youth Leadership Development prepares youth to meet the challenges of adolescence through a series of structured, progressive activities and experiences that help them to develop leadership skills (such as conflict resolution, negotiations, communication skills, goal setting, team building, positive self-esteem, and empowerment). This approach views youth as valued resources, builds on their own strengths and capabilities, and helps them develop in their own community. This model is a direct reflection of service learning components.
The goal of YAC is for a consistent group of youth to provide input, give feedback, and help to shape the local CYD program. YAC includes 10-20 youth comprised of both middle and high-school. YAC meets monthly in person or virtually. Participating youth are between the ages of 13-17. Youth must be engaged in outreach and awareness efforts and evaluation of the CYD program. YAC members also attend the annual 4-day youth summit in Austin, Texas. Its intent is to strengthen local youth advisory committees, develop leadership skills, and offer networking opportunities with other YAC youth from across the state.
Become a Rising Blazer to rise up in school and life, and to make a difference in your community.