Youth Solutions premier program, Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates (JMG) will be partnering with the Junior Youth Academy, a new program in Flint launched by Peckham. This is an exciting new partnership for Youth Solutions in that it encompasses two different structures that are fairly new to JMG: middle school and juvenile justice. The Junior Youth Academy is taking an innovative, strength-based approach to serving middle school students who are involved in the court system. As a service arm of the 7th Judicial Circuit, Juvenile Division, youth are referred to the program and receive core academic instruction, social-emotional learning, and career development services. The core curriculum will be delivered by teachers from the Mount Morris Consolidated Schools while a newly hired Youth Specialist will implement the JMG program.
The JMG middle school model focuses largely on developing leadership skills that will help youth in grades 6-8 successfully transition to high school. Forty-two competencies are recognized in the middle school model and include categories such as self-understanding, communications, decision making, character development, and career based learning. The JMG curriculum is a perfect fit for this program as it addresses several of the goals established by the Junior Youth Academy: deliver impactful and meaningful curriculum to middle school students around the topics of leadership, project-based learning, character development, and goal setting; help students and their families overcome barriers/obstacles; build a strong network with community partners and stakeholders to expand and enhance mentoring program.
Youth Solutions is excited to work with the Junior Youth Academy to develop best practices in both the juvenile justice and middle school spaces. Through this partnership, Youth Solutions hopes to gain the knowledge and insight necessary to create impactful programming for youth in similar settings across the entire state.