March 21, 2011

Dramatic Results in Local Violence Prevention Efforts

The Tim Griffith Foundation Celebrates Success of Funded Program in Recognition of National Youth Violence Prevention Week, March 21-25

Redwood City, CA—The week of March 21-25 is National Youth Violence Prevention Week, and The Tim Griffith Foundation is one local nonprofit that is proudly honoring this important week, as it continues its commitment to funding violence prevention and peaceful resolutions programs here in our community.  The Foundation has already witnessed dramatic results with one program it currently funds, The Transition Program, a joint effort between a local counseling agency and the San Mateo County Office of Education.  Supporting students who have been expelled or who are on probation, the Transition Program aids youth in their transition back to public school, ultimately reducing recidivism and assisting in the path to graduation. 

For the majority of the youth involved in the program, gang activity, rival neighborhood violence, and racial and ethnic clashes dictate daily life.  With a focus on counseling, community building, and renewing hope for the future, the Transition Program has turned an 88% failure rate into an 80% success rate in getting students to stay out of trouble and stay in school.

According to Stacey Redman, Founder of the Tim Griffith Foundation and Chairwoman of the Board of Directors, “Youth violence in our community is very real and takes a devastating toll.  We have chosen to fund the Transition Program because it is demonstrating remarkable results in reducing violence and offering youth an alternative to destructive paths.  As a community, we are all responsible for finding peaceful solutions and helping our young people envision a future full of hope and possibilities.”

The Transition Program, with funding from the Tim Griffith Foundation, is making an extraordinary impact on lives of local youth.   During the ’09- ’10 academic year, the Transition Program actively supported and provided counseling to 16 students, eight of whom were still enrolled at the end of 2010.  Another five of the 16 were transferred to Redwood High School, where they are completing coursework and on track to graduate with high school diplomas.  For youth transitioning from court schools to a Sequoia Union District High School, the approximate reported failure rate was 88% within the first year—meaning students either dropped out of school or had violated probation and were again subjects of the courts.  For those youth enrolled with the Transition Program, approximately 81% are successfully matriculated back into school and have not violated probation.

In honor of National Youth Violence Prevention Week, the Tim Griffith Foundation salutes the Transition Program, and the youth it serves.  These youth have chosen to reject violence as a reaction to the peer pressure, poverty, hardship or generational patterns they face.  Instead, they are choosing compassion, understanding, faith in the future, and peaceful community building as they leave behind crime and embrace education.  Though the Transition Program remains small and focused, with supporters such as the Tim Griffith Foundation, the program will continue to operate and reach an increasing number of at-risk youth.  The Tim Griffith Foundation is proud to play a role in reducing youth violence in the community by promoting peaceful resolutions for healing and hope.