To provide at-risk adolescents and young males with a secure, positive peer environment where they can regain hope and belief, earn trust and self-respect and learn skills to lead to a constructive lifestyle free of gangs, drugs, violence, cycles of failure, and poverty, therefore becoming productive members of society.
To have a community with a grounded and stable youth population, who are making great choices that will enhance their lives and keep them focused on, looking towards, and planning for a bright and positive future.
1. Empower adolescent and young males to find their Purpose, their Confidence, and their Greatness.
2. Help Bring up the high school graduation rate in Kankakee/Harvey/Dixmoor and surrounding cities as well as build/strengthen our members desire to go on to college and continue their education.
3. Help Reduce violence in the community.
4. To help build strong positive character in our members so that they will go on to become men of integrity willing to give back to their community.
5. To serve 100 youth pre year.
CHOICES is structured to help the youth find their confidence, their greatness, and their purpose in lifethrough our specialized life coach training, some specific programs, seminars, and our mentoring programs. CHOICES is one of a few Kankakee youth programs that serve hundreds of participants throughout the city.
Choices Youth Outreach International is a city wide at risk youth initiative that was created for youth ranging from 3rd Grade (8yrs old) to 12th grade (18yrs old) that are in danger of failing or dropping out of school, or making other questionable choices like joining gangs, using drugs or being involved in violence, etc. Aligning the community, the churches, and the schools in the Kankakee area, CHOICES will focus on mentoring and coaching the youth and their families to build a culture to promote and support lifelong healthy habits.
Our years of experience working with teenage boys have taught us that the middle school years are an important time in a boy’s development. This is when a boy makes choices that shape the man he will become. This is an especially critical window of time for boys without fathers. With no male role models to guide them, middle school is when boys start to lose their way, start to get in trouble, and often fall through the cracks of the educational system and land in the prison system.
Choices Youth Outreach International is a community-based mentoring model serving middle and high school boys identified by school administration to be at-risk of dropping out of school, juvenile delinquency or gang involvement. Our goal is to go into schools and communities to provide these fatherless boys the male role models they are missing. Not just one man, but a community of mentors and peers who offer the hope, support and guidance boys require in the critical window. This is where choices can make an impact in their lives that will last a lifetime.
Our community-based and solution focused approach gives boys a safe place to get real and talk about the problems all teenage boys keep inside, and a community where boys know they are NOT ALONE in their feelings. Fears, sadness, successes, hopes, anger, and gratitude are often revealed. We ask guys to raise a hand when someone shares something they can identify with. There’s a comfort in seeing other’s hands go up.
Over the years we have also learned that by exposing youth to new experiences it could create a passion that can change their perception on life which can foster new hopes and new dreams. When their perception is changed their attitude and behavior also changes allowing them to focus on the positive and seek to do better in life. In the words of Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., "A mind that is stretched by new experiences can never go back to its old dimensions". At Choices we are exposing our members to cultural activities like going to museums, live plays, poetry readings, musicals, ballet and art galleries. As well as taking them to professional and college sporting events (basketball, football, baseball, volleyball, track and field, swimming ect.) and tours of college campuses which will also nurture and enhance ambition.
We also have found that when seeking to build and strengthen character, giving back work wonders. Members of Choices will be involved in fund raisers for ourselves as well as organizations like juvenile diabetes, children hospitals and much more. Food drives, community picnics and back to school supply drives are activities that are a part of the requirements for Choices members.
Choices members will also be involved in activities that promote good health and nutrition. They will also be involved with fun activities that will help provide some balance in their lives, like bowling, skating, three on three basketball tournaments and camping just to name a few.
Being confident that they have a great chance to further their education can provide the youth with a willingness to do well in high school so that they can go on to college. So Choices will be working with foundations, corporations, colleges, universities, government programs and others to develop a scholarship fund that will help provide the at risk youth with a chance to move beyond high school, go on to college and become community leaders.
6. Community Work/Service Work/Pay it Forward
8. Temperance/ Self-Control
We love our customers, so feel free to visit during normal business hours.
340 N Dearborn Ave, Suite 219, Kankakee, IL 60901, us
Monday - Friday: 9am - 5pm
Saturday: By appointment