R.E.A.L. LIFE describes our mentoring and life navigation program. Through credible messengers and building strong personal and group relationships, we help guide youth toward success and navigate through the everyday obstacles they sometimes face.
315 L.I.F.T. – Life Influencers Focusing Teens Mentoring Program
315 L.I.F.T. is an Onondaga County funded partnership between GLYF and The Center for Court Innovation (CCI). The 315 L.I.F.T. Project uses hip-hop music and culture and peacemaking to give youth the necessary skills to be successful. We combine mentoring, financial and entrepreneurship learning, and experiential opportunities to help youth learn how to navigate life, make and keep money, and even start their own business! Youth will also have opportunities to earn money through stipends. Additionally, some youth and their families will participate in peacemaking circles where they can “talk it out” with community peacemakers. Each circle begins with food. The Good Life Foundation offices are located on South Salina Street in zip code 13205. The Near Westside Peacemaking Project is located at 601 Tully Street in zip code 13204.
315 L.I.F.T. stands for Life Influencers Focusing Teens. Youth respond better when they connect with people from the community that may have had similar lived experiences and backgrounds. Our Life Coaches understand the streets because they have come from the streets.
Youth are referred and receive personal “life coaches” while having access to a comprehensive combination of all Good Life services and programs. The 315 LIFT program is more intensive and metrics are tracked to identify shift in recidivism and re-arrest rates, as well as academic attendance and performance. These youth are referred by Onondaga County Juvenile Probation and the Office of Children and Family Services. Youth may have come from one of 3 track: Re-Entry, Diversion or Supervision.
In 2015, Onondaga County identified that 3 key zip codes (13205, 13204, 13207) had some of the highest levels of poverty and were the highest areas for youth recidivism and incarceration. In 2016, Good Life started a program called 315 L.I.F.T. (Life Influencers Focusing Teens). We are happy to report that as of 2018, Q3 of our second year, those zip codes are no longer the highest but amongst the lowest. Our success rate is 85%, youth who did not get re-arrested or recidivate. However, our work is far from finished, as the poverty levels in those zip codes have yet to shift.
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The Good Life also serves a general population of youth referred by the community, other organizations and often parents and family. As much as possible, we like to be a resource to the community by working with youth that may need guidance in some way. Because all youth vary in the levels of need and guidance, we tailor each plan with each youth, informed by their wants and needs. We largely rely on volunteer mentors for this population.