Queens Defenders believes mentoring works. Through both formal and informal mentoring programs, we empower young people to develop skills, share knowledge, learn empathy and communication, and gain paid work experience.
Credible Messenger Program
Primarily based in our Jamaica office, the Queens Defenders Credible Messenger Program provides juvenile and adolescent offenders opportunities for positive life changes. When a Queens Defenders attorney believes their client will benefit from our program, we welcome them to our team with open arms knowing that participation in our program is often an alternative to jail-time. Participants get paid to engage in workshops and trainings with topics ranging from positive decision making skills to professional workplace etiquette. Throughout the program, which lasts anywhere between six months to two years depending on the client, a team of our staff provides support in all facets of the young person’s life. The young people have access to social workers, attorneys, education specialists, and credible messengers – someone who has been through the criminal justice system and has successfully turned their life around. The goal of our Credible Messenger Program is to give our young clients the opportunity to turn their own lives around and to reduce any chance of being re-arrested.
Read more from Fatu here.
Young Adult Leader Program
Located in our Far Rockaway Outreach Center, the Queens Defenders Young Adult Leader Program employs dedicated youth who are passionate about improving their community. Under the supervision of our adult staff, the Young Adult Leaders plan, organize, and facilitate programs for youth in the community. Their role includes responsibilities such as tutoring youth in our center, coaching local basketball teams, and attending community meetings to advocate for young people. Leaders serve as role models for their peers, as well as mentors for younger youth in our center.
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