By Miriam Aliberti
Q: What is the Arizona Center for Youth Resources (ACYR)?
A: ACYR is an organization that envisions a community in which young people are valued as key contributors to the community’s healthy growth and development. Our focus is on building pathways to success through education, skill building, and employment. We help youth to obtain the academic, vocational, personal and social skills necessary to achieve these goals.One of the most important things that ACYR offers is a dedicated and knowledgeable staff who truly cares. Support is there for their academic journey, career journey, and emotional challenges – beginning to end and beyond.
Q: Who does ACYR help?
A:Arizona’s local youth face daily barriers that prevent them from successfully transitioning into adulthood. Circumstances such as home environment, school environment, poverty, and other concerns can make it challenging to move forward into success. We assist youth ages 16-24 who have been disconnected from education or work by and may have other challenges including disabilities, having children, criminal involvement, homelessness, and mental or behavioral health concerns. ACYR is in place to help youth connect with competent, caring adults who serve as advocates on their behalf, guide them, and connect them with the help they need to progress into their future. The ACYR team is committed to improving the quality of life for youth, their families, and our community.
Q: What kind of programs do you have for teens?
A: ACYR offers an array of high-quality programs designed to ensure success – continuing education choices, work-based learning, leadership development, linkages to employers, and on-going, sustained support. We have multiple programs to serve youth aged 16 to 24 including:
- City View High School – A school for youth who prefer non-traditional schools.
- Adult Basic Education Program – GED Assistance and English proficiency.
- Workforce Development Program– Provides education assistance, job training, and support services.
- City View Connect– Offers online blended learning for diploma completion.
- Training Opportunities – Including career advisement and internship experience with businesses that ACYR partners with.
In addition to other services, ACYR was recently awarded a grant to hire an MSW (Master of Social Work) and interns to develop a Social Support program to serve more youth onsite. We know that the more caring professionals a youth has, the greater chance they have for successful outcomes in life.
Q: What is the impact of ACYR’s work on the community and how are you changing statistics?
A: ACYR serves over 1,500 youth annually, connecting them with jobs or training, and helping them to overcome barriers. Increasing self-sufficiency and the ability to be successful is our primary focus. As a result of these successes, ACYR graduates transition into meaningful roles within the community:
- 91% successfully complete or continue their education or training.
- 66% who participate in employment skills training gain employment upon completion.
- 81% gain a diploma or GED and/or complete a degree or certification.
- 75% completing our services gain employment or enter post-secondary education.
Q: How would someone who wants to use the services get started?
A: An individual can apply online or call into our general number (602-252-6721) – ask to attend an information session located at multiple locations around the valley
For more information: http://www.acyraz.org