SMART GUIDES: Preparing Youth for Adult Independence and Work
Smart Transitions is a program initiative of the Together We Can Foundation based on the latest brain research, which has revealed just how important the time period of 12 to 24 years of age is for adult brain development and connectivity. The period in a young person’s life that stretches from puberty through adolescence and into their young adult years is a critical time for the development of an adult-functioning brain. While we may not be able to impact the neurological timetable of brain development, we can do a much better job of promoting socialization and behavioral maturation.
One of the things we have found that truly leads to Smart Transitions are “transition conversations.” That means engaging youth in serious and open-ended conversation about their futures, their dreams, and their plans. This is the secret behind the success of our small classes targeting at-risk teens. But we also understand that the need is far too great for any one organization to address on its own, so Smart Transitions is also a community initiative. It involves school systems, human service agencies, and non-profit organizations serving youth.
We’ve taken some of the best information from our youth programs and made it available in print guides and workbooks to help teachers, parents, mentors, and youth program staff facilitate these transition conversations with the youth in their care. This is our Smart Transitions Guide Program.
If you are a non-profit or community agency serving youth in Hampton Roads and Southeastern Virginia, you may be eligible to receive Smart Guides for your youth and Smart Guide training for your staff.