Avalon Housing Inc: Youth Leadership Program Success Story

KG is a young teen from a family that experienced domestic violence, and was referred to the Youth Leadership Program by his Avalon Case Manager. During the family’s yearlong tenancy, KG’s behavior created a number of problems on the property. He had difficulty managing his emotions, frequent outbursts of anger, inability to resolve conflicts and was also struggling in school, unable to maintain good grades and develop positive relationships. The conflicts and explosive behavior at home impacted other tenants in the building, and threatened to put his family’s tenancy at risk. There was initial concern that KG would not be able to function well in the Youth Leadership Program as a result of his emotional and behavior problems, but everyone felt the potential benefits outweighed the risks. Throughout the summer, staff and interns were amazed by KG’s enthusiastic participation, and the progress he made. He attended all group sessions, all field trips, helped with community service projects, and was part of the Edible Avalon Farmer’s Market project. KG has many personal strengths including; self-determination, being responsible for family duties, and follow through with plans as developed. These strengths became more evident throughout the summer and KG really developed as a leader within the community. Not only has his behavior improved, but his grades have also significantly improved, going from failing to A’s and B’s this semester. He has not had any further negative incidents with his neighbors/peers which has helped stabilize his family’s housing. This change speaks to the power of Avalon’s youth programs which helped support and enhance KG’s existing strengths, and made a real impact on his life.