Teen Discovery seeks to empower adolescents and youth ages 10 – 18, through the Youth and Family Engagement model. Through the utilization of this service model, teens are actively supported and strengthened by engaging them in one-on-one and small groups’ facilitation and training. Teen Discovery provides direct service facilitation and coordination that yields change in character, academic achievement, lifestyle, behavior, and attitude. 

Teen Discovery operates with the capacity to offer training, monitoring, instruction, and aligning adolescents and youth with the tools needed to become successful. Referrals can be made by the school, Children, Youth and Families, parents and caregivers, community and youth groups, faith based institutions, magistrate offices, juvenile justice system, youth athletic associations, and self-referrals. 

Click here for more information on the Teen Discovery program.

 

Goals

Teen Discovery fosters social and educational success in teens and adolescents. Many institutions with high populations of at-risk teens and young adults are ill-equipped to deal with issues like poverty, well-being, discrimination, poor education and negative peer culture, which may extrinsically have a negative effect on their behavior. Social accountability and alternative methods, such as positive intervention and preventive supports, can greatly increase the percentages of teens and young adults fulfilling their life goals. 

Teens are in transition and it is crucial they gain the knowledge needed to change attitudes with regard to the following: 

  • Educational Achievement and Attainment
  • Work and Self-Sufficiency
  • Family Formation
  • Civic Engagement
  • Health and Safety 
  • Risky Behaviors 
  • Improved Social and Emotional Development

 
Throughout the time that Small Seeds worked with me and my family it has been extremely helpful. The staff provided guidance when I needed it and made sure I received the necessary information and support to help assist me and my children. The services provided me has helped to reduce my stress and increase my confidence. 
- Mother of a Teen Participant
 

Program Components

Parent & Teen Support and Parent Development Training
Provides Teen Parent Training in the home, school or community with a certificate of completion.

Parent and Child Conflict Mediation and Resolution  
Focuses on the teen parent and parent(s) of the teen who are having conflicting issues in the home. 

Teens with Younger Siblings
Provides sibling support care training to older youth who have assumed co-parenting responsibilities for younger sibling(s) in the home as assigned by the parent, i.e., babysitting or transporting to or from school or community programs.

Teen Character & Social Development
Before, During & After School Workshops that provide a certificate of completion for their participation in a 10 to 12 week module of instruction support the educational and social dynamics of at-risk teens. Students in grades 9 through 12 will receive a monetary stipend for their completion of 80% of the program.  

Parents and Teen Success (PATS)
Incorporates an evidence based curriculum identified in the “Resources in Parent Education: Group Curricula”. Through individual and group parenting education and stand-alone curricula teens and parents will be able to:

  • Improve cooperation and behavior; reduce parental stress, hostility and depression.
  • Increase cooperation, responsibility and self-esteem; reduce power struggles.
  • Increase family resiliency and community connections
  • Improved discipline and anger management skills.

Student “My Journey Documentary”
This workshop supports teens and young adults by utilizing film and audio to encourage, share and reflect ideas, stories, and feelings of their personal experience (e.g., speaking and listening, imagination, creative expression, critical thinking, respect for others, confidence, cooperation and the arts).

ACT Raising Safe Kids Program
The ACT Raising Safe Kids Program was developed and is coordinated by the American Psychological Association’s Violence Prevention Office. The ACT Program teaches positive parenting skills to parents and caregivers of children from birth to age 8. The program is based on research showing that:

  • It is in the early years that children learn the basic foundations for life. 
  • Parents and caregivers can be the best teachers and positive role models OR the perpetrators of violence, abuse and neglect against their own children. 
  • Exposure to abuse and neglect early in life can have serious long-term emotional, cognitive and behavioral consequences for children and youth.

Social Skill Domains

TIANDA BLOUNT
THE MEL BLOUNT YOUTH HOME

Communication: The act or process of imparting or interchanging thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing or signs. Key terms: conversation, interchange, talk, information transmittal, nonverbal communication, basic pragmatics 

Cooperation: The act or instance of working or acting together for a common purpose; more or less active assistance from a person; willingness to help or work together. Key terms: joint action, collaboration, synergy, partnership, teamwork, coalition, participation, mutual assistance 

Assertion: A positive statement or declaration, often without support or reason; an act of sticking up for oneself or for what is right. Key terms: claim, bold declaration, affirmation, clear and firm statement. 

Responsibility: The ability to make moral or rational decisions on one’s own, and to be answerable for one’s behavior; the quality or state of being trustworthy or dependable. Keywords: trustworthiness, reliability, doing one’s duty, dependability, accountability, liability

Empathy: Identification with or understanding of another’s situation, feelings, thoughts, attitudes, or motives; the ability to imagine how another person is feeling and to understand his or her mood. Key terms: sympathy, compassion, commiseration, understanding, kindness, warm-heartedness, benevolence, philanthropy 

Engagement: The act of involving someone in an activity; involving oneself or becoming occupied; the act of sharing in the activities of a group. Key terms: participation, involvement, connecting, interest 

Self-control: Control or restraint of oneself or one’s actions or feelings; the ability to control one’s emotions and remain calm even when feeling angry, afraid, excited or upset. Key terms: poise, self-restraint, reserve, self-regulation, level-headedness. 


Program Eligibility

  • Adolescents and youth between the ages of 10 and 18
  • Adolescents and youth that reside in Allegheny County
  • Adolescents and youth looking for support in changing their character, academic achievement, lifestyle, behavior, and/or attitude.