The Ready Set Grow program is station in the DC Department of Corrections YME unit, DC Public Schools and Community Recreation Center. The program was developed after seeing our youths enter the prison system as adults. This program is modified to teach youth how to build healthy relationships, use proper support systems, and avoid influential criminal lifestyles. We also teach our kids how to become entrepreneurs and successful businessman and women as they prepare for life long careers. The Ready Set Grow course is a cognitive-behavioral program, created to meet the specific needs of these at-risk youth. The course itself will enhance participants communication methods, foster healthy relationships, extend family values, and develop a healthy self-esteem. It will also facilitate efforts to overcome barriers and effectively deal with day-to-day challenges directly related to substance abuse prevention, criminal lifestyle, gang behavior, mental and emotional wellness.


Topics explored include: 

    • Short and Long Term Objectives
    • Healthy Relationships
    • Education and Workforce Development
    • Transitioning to Become a Productive Citizen through Community Service
    • Social Development and Behavior Modification
    • Cultural Differences
    • Effective Praise Method
    • On-Going Mentoring


The participatory groups will combine education and recreation to help youth develop and use their leisure in ways that enhance their health, functional abilities, independence and quality of life. Groups are designed to encourage positive attitudes and provide tools that enable youth to gain a cognitive understanding of decision making, as well as the knowledge and the ability to utilize them. The following objectives have been establish for this program:


    1. Objective: Assist youth in unlearning non-adaptive responses and learn more functional responses to feelings such as anger, joy, frustration, disappointment and sadness that create emotional barriers that negatively affect communication.
    2. Objective: Develop different modes of leisure and prosocial behavior which will enable the individual to adapt to the environment and return to the community.
    3. Objective: Assist participants in successfully completing the program, we provide them with the following outlets:
      • One on one interventions to address and assist youth in overcoming barriers due to behavioral emotional and/or social difficulties.
      • Organize activities such as group sports, games, and relaxation techniques, deep breathing, concentration, and other activities, to reduce stress and tension to assist youth in developing interpersonal relationships, socializing effectively, and developing confidence.
      • Reflecting and recording youth reactions and evidence of progress or regression.


We argue that today’s youth face more severe and critical risks than any previous generation. Most agree that violence in our neighborhoods and schools, deteriorating family structure, substance abuse, and gang activity put youth, particularly young males, at-risk. Young adult who have trouble coping with the stresses of life are more likely to abuse drugs, alcohol, and engage in criminal activity. Many of these at-risk youth will eventually find themselves locked up in detention centers or living on the streets. At-risk youth post a more challenging problem, because many have already been socialized into a deviant lifestyle. For these kids to feel hopeful, they must come to believe that the future has possibilities for them, that they can attain their goals, and that there are adults who will support them so they can better their lives. Our goal through the Just2 Campaign is to have at least 1,000 people donate just $2. These donations will go towards funding our youth programs, activities, and scholarships for our college-bound kids.

Just 2 Campaign Mission

The Program will have a positive impact on families and communities. J2C will inform, educate and emphasize the need to focus on a strategic method to save and empower our youth population. Our programs staff take the time to really get to know our youth and their individual challenges and are able to communicate with them and help them effectively based on this individualized assessment and relationship. It gives them avenues and opportunities to achieve something and in the long run, build their self-worth. It also encourages them to see beyond themselves and consider the world around them. It encourages them to stop struggling and become more successful, focus more on building their future than struggling against present circumstances.


Protect: Protect our young people from themselves and the many pitfalls of society that they succumb to.

Provide: Provide our youth with leadership, education and opportunities.

Prevent: Prevent the disproportionate numbers of increasing incarceration and declining graduation.

Promote: Promote our restored young people to the community and advocate for businesses and stakeholders in the community to re-invest in our youth.

Empower: Empower a generation to be stronger and more confident about their greater prospects in life.


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