has announced it will receive a $2.1 million grant from the US Department of Labor to provide training, education and support services to young adults transitioning out of the juvenile justice system. This will create a new program called Next Step, which will provide targeted, individualized services to a total of 96 eligible young adults in Ingham County.
“We came across this funding opportunity and felt that it was a natural extension of the services we currently provide to youth involved with the juvenile justice system,” says Peckham’s Public Relations Administrator Bonnie Zimmerman. “Our current youth programs provide a range of services to youth only until they turn 18. This program will allow us to provide an additional set of services to these young adults 18-21 as they transition into adulthood.”
Next Step participants can attain a high school diploma or GED, participate in career exploration and assessment, experience a service-learning opportunity tied to an identified career interest and achieve placement in community employment or education designed to lead to employment.
“They are full of potential, but have little or no support in how to successfully transition from youth into adulthood,” says Zimmerman. “The Next Step program will allow us to bridge the gap and continue services to help young adults stay out of the justice system and successfully integrate into the community. “
The program will create four new staff positions at Peckham and serve nearly 100 adults over the next two years. It is expected to begin in the Fall 2012.