[St. Cloud, Minnesota–] The Bernick’s Family Foundation awarded funding to the youth leadership and community involvement program called the Discovery of Self, an initiative of the nonprofit Yes Network.
The Discovery of Self (DOS) program seeks to address Adverse Childhood Experiences, more commonly referred to as ACEs, as research has shown trauma experienced early in life can significantly impact an individual’s success throughout school and beyond.
DOS provides high school students with tools and training to develop as leaders in school and the community. Students are given the opportunity to mentor younger kids as part of their leadership development.
The Yes Network is leading the movement to address and prevent ACEs and has formed partnerships with schools in Central Minnesota to offer the program. The schools that are interested in offering the program this spring are Albany, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, Eden Valley-Watkins, Holdingford, Kimball, Melrose, Paynesville, ROCORI, Sauk Centre, Sauk Rapids, and the St. Cloud School District.
Results from the Minnesota School Survey, taken in 2016, indicate a lack of student connection to peers and the community, a lack of engagement in school activities, a difficulty to approach adults within the school, and an inability to focus. The survey findings are corroborated by yearly reported observations from district staff.
According to many staff in school districts in the region, the issues identified in the survey—and seen daily in classrooms and hallways—have caused feelings of social anxiety and disconnect among students, along with a lack of understanding of themselves and others.
The Yes Network will provide training at Saint Cloud State University for 100-125 area high school students who will then apply their leadership skills by helping lead summer youth enrichment activities coordinated by the Yes Network. The training program consists of four different themed sessions, all held on campus.
The mission of the Yes Network is to create vibrant, loving and prosperous communities by focusing on the wellbeing of children and families.
If you would like more information, please call 320 267-4995