California Lutheran University is involved with the program. The university is an active supportive participant. Undergraduate students volunteer as Safe Passage mentors and tutors, and the Thousand Oaks campus is a destination for annual field study experiences that encourage children to put college in their plans starting with Kinder and into middle school.
Safe Passage is making steady improvements in the two micro-communities that it serves. Effective community policing combined with supervision, mentoring and pro-social activities has created safer spaces within these multi-family complexes. The evidence shows this comprehensive approach is helping to systematically transform the cultures in these settings, by deterring youth from delinquent activity and suppressing the impact of gangs. These changes are making it possible for the children to be seen, and to see themselves, as “at-promise” rather than “at-risk.”
The goal is for these positive effects to reverberate beyond these communities and for generations to come. Results will be evident in dramatic long-term cost-savings in our public health, social service and criminal justice systems. The right interventions, including the consistent presence of caring adults in a young person’s life, can make the difference between healthy decisions and risky behavior and between becoming a future college student or gang member.
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