"The Credible Messenger Initiative" is a transformative, mentoring intervention program for youth committed to the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, with a restorative justice philosophy for young people in the community at large. The mission of the initiative is to connect all young people in the care and custody of DYRS to healthy homes and supportive communities, and to provide preventative supports to all youth in Washington D.C.
Credible Messengers are neighborhood leaders, experienced youth advocates and individuals with relevant life experiences whose role is to help youth transform attitudes and behaviors around violence. They serve young people whose needs go far beyond the traditional mentoring approach of companionship, confidence-building and typical academic, social or career guidance. They are able to connect with the most challenging young people because they:
The guiding principles of the Credible Messenger Initiative are to:
The Conclusion? THE ANSWER IS IN THE COMMUNITY.