Leadership Development

The Difference Between
'I don't care and striving towards a productive future

When Terrance was 15 and hanging out on a corner in Harlem, a Children’s Aid staff member approached him and asked him if he wanted a job. Terrance followed our staffer and became an early graduate of the Hope Leadership Academy, with plans to go to college and get a master’s degree. He delivers workshops to his peers and urges them to take control of their lives.

Leadership Development

  • 180 students in elementary through high school organized 10 Youth Councils across The Children’s Aid Society, focusing on service, leadership development and advocacy.
  • 1,050 youth completed the Hope Leadership Academy.
  • Children’s Aid provided re-entry services to approximately 200 youth transitioning back from the juvenile justice system.

The Children’s Aid Society fosters leadership and self-determination across all of our programs: community schools, juvenile justice programs, after-school, teen pregnancy prevention. While the programs might seem on the surface to have different goals, our programs succeed by showing young people the possibilities available to them—in the world and within themselves. True to its name, Children’s Aid’s Hope Leadership Academy helps teens become peer leaders and trainers in many ways, on many topics, including everything from dating violence to financial literacy. In community schools and centers, youth leadership councils— leadership development programs for middle and high school students—tackle issues including environmental problems and the impact of advertising on obesity. The members develop academic skills as well as peer and community leadership.

“One of the things I’ve learned,” says Dr. Michael Carrera, who directs the Top-Tier Evidence-Based Children’s Aid Society-Carrera Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program, “is that we don’t prevent teen pregnancy, teens do. What we do is create a climate that allows good things to happen. When teens believe good things can happen in their lives, they reduce the risk on their own.”

Across our programs we witness daily the difference between youth who see no future and those who are in charge of their own destinies. As Terrance says, “Once I came to Hope, I became my own man. I tell all my friends, ‘You’re your own person.’ I can’t tell anyone how to lead their life, but I’m always putting a word in.”

Join us in making the difference: When you contribute to The Children’s Aid Society, you make the difference between a child reaching a dead end and a child reaching for the stars.