Youth Development Services

CMS is dedicated to promoting effective approaches to conflict-resolution and problem solving for youth, their families and the community. Our youth development services are based upon the core belief that positive development begins with both respect for others and empowerment of self. All programs are free of charge.

John Harrison, Associate Executive Director ( 718-523-6868, ext. 261)

Queens Adolescent Diversion Program (QADP)

A mentoring program, QADP was founded on the belief that youth facing difficult circumstances can flourish when provided with positive role models. The program strives to divert at-risk youth ages 9-17 from Family and Criminal Court Systems by providing them with personal mentors for a period of 15 weeks. Mentors offer youth consistent support, guidance and alternatives to at-risk behaviors by providing educational, recreational and culturally enriching opportunities. Participants are also encouraged to set personal goals that focus on education, family life and communication, and community service. QADP reduces the potential for negative influences and its participants develop healthy senses of self-esteem and positive decision-making abilities. There are two discrete QADP programs:

  • Site-Based Program This program utilizes a Team Mentoring Model to unite youth and mentor groups in sets of 15 specialized workshops held in a supervised, structured, multi-cultural setting. Workshops address issues such as anger management, cultural respect, effective communication and conflict-resolution, and strategies for achieving academic and vocational success. Youth also receive homework assistance and individual counseling. In addition, they are encouraged to develop and organize community projects. These projects service both the community at large while providing opportunities for the youth to develop improved senses of self-worth and leadership potential.
  • Community-Based Program Mentor / Mentee pairs meet for approximately 6-8 hours weekly in the youth’s home and/or community. Mentors offer individualized attention and engage youth in activities that foster self-awareness, positive socialization and academic achievement. Mentors also help their mentees address school, family and personal challenges, meet with parents, visit the youth’s school to assess academic status and help the youths set goals related to education, family life, and socialization.

Who Can Be A Mentor? Mentors must be at least 19 years old, possess good interpersonal skills, and be able to commit to the program demands. Background checks, a formal interview, and specialized training are required prior to being matched with a mentee. Mentors meet with program staff for supervision, support and guidance throughout the mentorships.

Referrals: QADP is funded through the NYS Office of Children and Family Services. Intakes for the community-based mentorship assignments occur June through August for the Fall school semester and December through January for the Spring semester. Intakes for the site-based program occur year round. Parental involvement is essential to the mentoring process and parents must be willing to participate in a series of workshops.

Youth Violence Intervention Program (YVIP)

YVIP is a free program for Queens’ residents ages 12-17 and funded by the New York State Department of Criminal Justice. Youth are referred primarily from CMS’s PINS Diversion unit and the Queens District Attorney’s Second Chance program. Youth and their parents/guardians enter the program through an intake process in which they meet with a case manager to develop specific, individualized goals and formulate a service plan. The case manager then aids in the attainment of these goals by making referrals to appropriate professionals and monitoring each program participant’s progress.

YVIP is designed to help participants work through personal struggles and learn to address difficulties without resorting to violence. Participants also develop and improve critical thinking, decision-making and conflict resolution skills, enhance communication skills, and begin to form and work towards personal goals. The core of the program is the 12 highly interactive group workshops in which youths address issues such as anger and emotional management, values and perceptions, coping with peer pressure, behaviors/lifestyles and legal consequences. Research has shown the group setting to be a highly successful intervention for adolescents, and our program participants have demonstrated engagement and success by using the group process. Parent workshops are also available and parent involvement is highly encouraged.

Youth Mediation Corps (YMC)

YMC is a program that believes in the inherent power of youth to change the world. The program provides youth ages 13-19 with leadership and conflict-resolution training in order to empower them to become involved in political, economic and social institutions in their community and thus help shape the future in which they will live. Youth meet weekly for workshops and design various community service projects.

Young Peacemakers

In 2005, the Youth Mediation Corps was awarded funds to expand the original program to a cohort of youth between the ages of 9-12 in PS 35. The Young Peacemaker Program is designed to help participants experience the positive feelings that come from helping others. The YMC Young Peacemakers receive homework help from the coordinator and selected older YMC participants, attend workshops four times per week, and plan and execute monthly community service projects. Some past projects have included penny drives, food drives, community beautification, and intergenerational activities. The Young Peacemakers develop resiliency, leadership abilities and enhanced self-worth as they learn the power they have to change both their own worlds and the world at large.

School-Based Programs

Our goal is to help students to graduate from High School, while being fully prepared to succeed in their next phase of life.

Working with approximately 350 students in the 9th and 10th grade who have had previous truancy (20-75 days absent previous year) and academic issues, our counselors work with both the students and their families to address their needs.

Our comprehensive programs provide academic reinforcements and attendance support in addition to individual and group counseling, arts enrichment, conflict resolution and advocacy services.

Funded by the United Way of New York City and the Department of Education, current partnership schools include:

  • August Martin High School (Jamaica, Queens)
  • Boys and Girls High School (Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn)
  • Grover Cleveland High School (Ridgewood, Queens)

Please contact Program Director at 718-523-6868 ext. 209 for further information.

Specialized Educational Services

These programs provide weekly workshops to individuals referred by the Queens District Attorney’s Office, the NYC Department of Probation and NYC Administration for Children’s Services. Workshops address:

  • Personal Choice and Accountability
  • Positive Parenting
  • Batterers Intervention Program

Workshops are offered during day, evening and weekend hours. Please contact the Program Director at (718) 523-6868 ext. 260 for further information.