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 such as mentoring, youth leadership development, and after-school programs to promote protective factors in youth and prevent negative outcomes such as juvenile delinquency.
CYD Rising Blazers provides programs and services that are focused on the prevention of juvenile delinquency based on community needs. We focus on mentorship, parental involvement, and youth leadership development. We also host a Youth Advisory Committee.
CYD Rising Blazers is ZIP code-specific, serving students and their parents in 75210 and 75215 in South Dallas and 75241 and 75216 in Oak Cliff. Students who live and/or attend school in these ZIP codes are eligible to become Rising Blazers.
Opportunities for students within the Rising Blazers Programs (at the campus and within the community) focus on the following areas of development.
Parental involvement increases youth participation in after-school programs, influences constructive parent involvement in the home, increases protective factors, and may address priority characteristics for juvenile delinquency. There are several strategies used when working with parents. Usually those strategies depend on the dynamics of the community served. These strategies include parent training or parenting classes, parent leadership programs, counseling, and service-based learning.
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.