Transformative mentoring, utilizing the Arches model, is provided to youth and young adults, ages 13-24, living in neighborhoods that put them at risk of systems involvement. The Arches model deploys “credible messengers” as mentors. Credible messengers are individuals who have successfully navigated various systems: the criminal legal system; homelessness; foster care; and public housing. A structured, evidence-based cognitive behavioral framework is utilized in groups. Additionally, one on one mentoring and case management are provided for participants. (A qualitative and impact evaluation of the Arches model was conducted by the Urban Institute. It found that Arches participants, those involved in the criminal legal system, were significantly less likely to be arrested and convicted of a crime. Additionally, younger participants seemed to benefit the most from being paired with a mentor, who is available 24/7.)
Career readiness, job placement and internships are provided for participants in the transformative mentoring program(s), as well as other participants engaged in services with Wildcat. The Fedcap Group’s trademarked job-readiness curriculum, Get Ready!, is utilized, which has the following components: personal branding; resilience; up the ladder (career advancement); creating networks of support; and post-secondary pathways, e.g., career exploration and step by step guide to college. Additionally, participants are engaged in Community Benefit Projects.