Economic Opportunity Council of Suffolk, Inc.
Commission AmeriCorps State FY 2011
The Economic Opportunity Council of Suffolk, Inc., SNAP Division (EOC-SNAP) proposes to utilize 50 AmeriCorps Members (at minimum service term) to enhance and/or expand our existing adolescent pregnancy prevention programs by positioning AmeriCorps Members within our existing school based programs and in community based settings not currently being served by EOC-SNAP in the communities of Amityville (zip code 11701), Bay Shore (zip code 11706), Brentwood (zip code 11717), Central Islip (zip code 11722), Wyandanch (zip code 11798), Mastic (zip code 11950), Mastic Beach (zip code 11951), Shirley (zip code 11967), and Moriches (zip code 11955) all of which are located in Suffolk County, New York.
Utilizing proven best practices, AmeriCorps Members will assist us to dramatically lower the teen pregnancy rate amongst the target population of youth, ages 11-19, primarily Latino and Black in the target communities. By developing community volunteering to strengthen positive youth connections with family, schools, and community our project will empower these communities to make progress on other troubling social issues that also disproportionally affect many minority youth: lowering high school dropout rates, improving graduation rates, improving student performance, and reducing adolescent pregnancy and birth rates. Through the expansion of positive youth development activities, academic support, and engaging youth in community service, AmeriCorps Members will help young people articulate a vision of the future that will give them not just the capacity but also the motivation to prevent unplanned pregnancy. The emphasis on service learning in our chosen evidence based intervention will also help to instill a sense of civic pride and individual responsibility. We have deep roots in the proposed communities to serve dating back over twenty five years and our proposed use of AmeriCorps Members will assist us in creating and sustaining community linkages that maximize the community's existing resources, encourage and support young people towards a healthy adulthood, and build the capacity of local organizations to spearhead community revitalization and social change.