There are many challenges facing youth and their families today, and although efforts are made to help them, most have limited success. When youth begin engaging in “risky” behaviors, such as substance use, it can lead to serious problems, not only for the youth involved and their families, but also for their community and society. There is good news though. There are programs out there that have been proven to decrease risky youth behaviors, enhance positive youth development, and strengthen families. And since resources are limited, it only makes sense to use programs that we know work.
Effectively delivering these evidence-based programs year after year requires a level of human and financial resources that would be difficult for any one agency or organization to sustain. This is why, in 2002, Bradford (Bradford) formed a team of volunteers representing a number of local youth-serving entities to take on this task. This group of individuals, known as the PROSPER Team, is led by Cathy Straub, a representative from McKean County Extension, and is co-led by Judy Abbey from Floyd C. Fretz Middle School. The Bradford PROSPER Team includes representatives from Drug & Alcohol Services, The Guidance Center and The Bradford School District.
What the Bradford PROSPER Team does for the community
The team is relatively small compared to traditional “big-tent” coalitions so that it can focus its efforts on helping youth make good choices and become responsible citizens. Each year the PROSPER Team invites 5th and 6th grade students and their parents to participate in the Strengthening Families Program: For Parents and Youth 10-14 (SFP: 10-14). The PROSPER Team also works very closely with the middle school to provide the AllStars program to 7th graders.
Bradford PROSPER Team Vision
"Our hope for children and families is to develop and maintain positive life skills and a strong sense of confidence that empowers them to make healthy life-long decisions as productive members of their community. PROSPER’s role is to promote a sustained support system that enables children and families to develop and thrive in a healthy and safe environment.”
Because of the PROSPER Team and its supporters, these programs have been making a difference in the lives of Bradford youth and families for over 8 years.
The Bradford PROSPER Team believes in helping our children, families, and communities to be the best they can be. To date, over 530 Bradford families have completed the SFP: 10-14, and over 4700 Bradford students have completed the in-school AllStars curriculum.
"One of the most valuable things I learned is how to handle peer pressure and how to listen or understand my parents when they speak to me." - Youth Participant
The Bradford PROSPER Team is Helping Youth and Strengthening Families