Northwest Ohio

Teen Outreach Program

The Teen Outreach Program is a program for high school-aged students, consisting of three interrelated components: supervised community service, classroom discussion of service experiences, and classroom discussion and activities related to key social and developmental tasks of adolescence.

Service learning projects take students into their communities, creating a combination of education and community service that is intended to empower young people to succeed. In keeping with the program's broad developmental focus, the program places little direct emphasis upon its two target behaviors (preventing pregnancy and school dropout). Sex education materials constitute 10-15% of the overall curriculum and are incorporated within the general program emphasis on making good decisions about life options. The remaining 85-90% of curriculum focuses on values, human growth and development, relationships, family stress, communication and decision making and social/emotional transition from childhood to adolescence.

Trained facilitators, lead the classroom discussions, also incorporate opportunities for youth to reflect on their volunteer activities in the community and to ratify the meaning of these activities for their own lives. The Teen Outreach Program is based on the "helper-therapy" principle which is a model, first described in 1965 by Frank Reissman, attempting to explain the therapeutic effect for both people in a "helper" and "helpee" relationship. In the process of helping another member (of their community), the helper gains an increased sense of self-efficacy making the volunteer activity mutually beneficial. The theory of Empowerment is also a basis for the Teen Outreach Program, which includes encouraging, and developing the skills for, self-sufficiency, with a focus on eliminating the future need for charity or welfare in the individuals of the group. For more detailed information on these services, Please contact, Penny Tullis, Director of Youth Services at (419)241-3235 or email directly: ptullis@ywcatoledo.org

Program Components

  • After school teen pregnancy and school dropout prevention program
  • One 90 minute session per week from 3:30-5:00 in four Toledo Public High schools: Libbey, Scott, Waite and Woodward. Groups are based on grade level
  • Supervised community volunteer service
  • Classroom discussion of service experience
  • Classroom discussion and activities related to key social and developmental tasks
  • Length of program—year round
  • Educator trained from A Teen Outreach Program trainer