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Media Release | Flint Learning Co-Op Celebrates First Year Anniversary

Michigan Business Network
March 20, 2019 8:00 AM

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Flint Learning Co-Op Celebrates First Year Anniversary, And Successes for Area Youth Involved In the Program

FLINT-MI - - The Learning Co-Op in Flint is celebrating their first year anniversary since launching in January of 2018. With nearly 30% of students dropping out of school before graduation in Flint, research suggest one out of every 10 students who drop out will end up in the juvenile or adult court system. As a strategy to change these lives, Genesee 7th Judicial Circuit has collaborated with Peckham Youth Services and the GearUp2Lead to provide innovative and supportive education and training for juvenile offenders at The Learning Co-Op

The Learning Co-Op’s goal, help youth (15-18 yrs. old) who are referred by the 7th Judicial Circuit Court of Genesee County, to achieve academic and vocational goals. Students referred by the court spend half a day with Peckham and half a day with GearUp2Lead.

Under the guidance of GearUp2Lead, students have the opportunity to earn their high school diploma and credits through their on-line curriculum with the Fenton School District. Peckham operates the Youth Career Academy, a career readiness and skills training program. Students receive a robust level of vocational services including assessments, tours and credential obtainment, work placement (paid) and finally transition to a permanent job or other placement.

“The Court is very grateful for the partnership created with Peckham, Inc. and GearUp. The Learning Co-Op empowers youth and creates opportunities for youth to do better, to learn and work, and to reach their life goals. The program has created a supportive environment for the youth to thrive and to reach their full potential. We look forward to what is to come” Rhonda Ihm, Juvenile Section Administrator, 7th Judicial Circuit Court of Genesee County.

To date the program has enrolled 35 students. Through GearUp2Lead,

  • 1 student has graduated from high school and
  • GearUp2Lead awarded the Children's Champion Award by Priority Children in 2018 Through the work of Peckham Youth Career Academy
  • 14 students earned an industry recognized credential • 10 students placed into community work experiences (Northgate, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Al Serra, Hasselbring, Great Lakes Painting, 501 Pub and Grill, Article One, YMCA, and Creative Concrete Design)
  • More than 100 hours of student Give-Backs (students giving back to the community) have been completed
  • Four students successfully completed conditions of their probation

“The Learning Co-Op is providing outstanding educational and vocational training for courtinvolved youth in Genesee County, and the success these programs provide is tremendous. The program is serving a significant need in our community and our court. Our County is lucky to have these agencies working with our youth.” – The Honorable John A. Gadola – Presiding Judge

GearUp2Lead is a nonprofit leadership development organization located in Flint, MI with the mission of educating and inspiring youth and adults through Growth Mindset. GearUp2Lead’s primary program is GearUp Academy, a non-traditional high school that seeks to provide students with the inspiration, skills, and resiliency needed to find purpose and satisfaction in their lives. The program balances core curriculum with experiences in critical thinking, problem solving, communication skills, and entrepreneurial ideas.

Peckham’s Youth Services serves more than 400 youth annually across multiple programs and counties in Michigan. Programs provide adjudicated youth and young adults with juvenile records, a supportive environment in which to grow vocationally and socially. The goal is to reduce recidivism, improve social functioning and provide training for youth that have been unsuccessful in traditional settings. Emphasis is placed on work skills and exposure to community employment through career exploration and paid job training.

Our mission is to provide a wide range of individualized services including vocational training, exploration and assessment, and person-centered planning to youth striving to maximize their human potential and eliminate the recurrence of self-defeating behaviors. We believe community-based programs are a viable alternative to residential placement and encourage the development of structured programs designed to provide a continuum of support services to disconnected youth and their families.

Peckham, Inc., a nonprofit community vocational rehabilitation organization, is a unique business and human services agency. Peckham’s mission is to provide a wide range of opportunities to maximize human potential for persons with barriers to employment who are striving for greater independence and self-sufficiency.

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