The fourth step in SGA’s Cycle of Opportunity© is Workforce Development. Workforce development services include summer employment opportunities for youth as young as 14 years old. We offer more intensive services throughout the school year to our “Opportunity Youth” - young adults ages 16-24 who are out of school and out of work, including those involved in the juvenile justice system. The program benefits clients by providing: 

  • Community leadership 
  • Life skills training with stipend 
  • Field trips 
  • Home visits 
  • Linkage to mental health providers 
  • Psychiatric assessments and mental health counseling 
  • Job readiness skills 
  • Mentoring 
  • Court advocacy  
  • Case management 

Some of our programs work with the Chicago Police Department to help youth immediately after they get arrested. Clients are paired up with mentors to provide case management and other supportive services that address individual needs and underlying issues to reduce the chances of recidivism. We also have staff members on site at schools to personally connect with at-risk youth and intervene before stress, anxiety or social pressures escalate into a serious or violent offense. By using the principles of balanced and restorative justice, these “diversion” programs provide youth and their families with wraparound services to help address underlying factors contributing to negative behaviors.