Six short months ago, Savonn had difficulty thinking before acting on his emotions. It had gotten him into trouble in the past. He didn't consider his consequences, and chose to commit armed robbery.
However, through Highfields' after-school program PRIDE, Savonn learned how to turn his life around. The overall goal of the PRIDE program is to teach skills to youth about how their thoughts and feelings are connected to their actions, recognize the risk in their thinking and choose an alternate course of action, thereby reducing recidivism.
Without your help, kids like Savonn would still be on the streets, making bad decisions that would affect the rest of his life.
When Savonn was first referred to PRIDE, he didn’t know what to expect. He had never heard of it before, and thought it would be a waste of time.
Over the course of the program, however, he began to pay attention to the lessons. One lesson in particular is an evidence-based program called Thinking for a Change (T4C). This program is one of the many evidence based programs offered through Highfields. T4C is designed for juvenile offenders to help them restructure their thinking and develop their social and problem-solving skills.
Savonn said T4C has changed the way he approaches situations. He never used to think about his consequences before making decisions.
“Thinking for a Change was very beneficial to me," he said. "Now I use it even when I don’t realize I’m using it. It’s built in my head. When I’m doing something, I think about my consequences now."
Savonn said that PRIDE has also taught him how use appropriate body language, improve his communication skills, and learn self-control.
“PRIDE taught me how to live life the right way,” said Savonn.
If it wasn’t for PRIDE, Savonn said he would be in prison. He wants to see the program continue because it has helped him become a better person.
“I think kids should come to PRIDE because it’s a good program. You’re going to learn here if you put your mind to it,” he said.
Thanks to your support, programs like PRIDE can thrive and help teach kids like Savonn how to make better choices in life.