Serving Families by Helping Youth
A young person in America today is bombarded daily with stresses and pressures, and has a myriad of voices – from the media and pop culture, to friends and relatives – telling them what to do and how to live. All too often, young people become overwhelmed by the negative voices that are out there, and succumb to lifestyles of low expectations, and even lower achievements. Low self-esteem, lack of respect for others and self, bad grades, dropping out of school, toxic relationships, teenage pregnancy or fatherhood, alcohol and drug use and juvenile crime are a few of the many saddening results when youth cave to these negative pressures.
The Ridge Project’s youth program provides youth with a refuge, and helps establish them on a firm foundation so they can overcome the negative influences and pressures that exist in society. Our programming is essential for all youth, both those that have adversity in their lives to overcome, and those who want to strengthen themselves to overcome any challenges the future might bring.
Our nationally recognized youth program is a unique Rites of Passage (ROP) program. Click here to view our program outcomes. The rites of passage program empowers youth to identify and reach their highest potential, by helping them build the mindset and strength of character so that they become a source of strength for their family and community.
This is an integral part of our overall goal of strengthening families, as we are able to empower our youth to be a force for good, equipping them with the skills to overcome any obstacle so that they can be the leaders of the next generation.
This Rites of Passage program is not just about telling our teens to wait until they are married to have sex. It is not just about keeping them from using drugs or alcohol, getting pregnant or contracting an STD. It is about reaching them where they are and helping them to develop life skills that will ensure them a healthy, productive, and positive future. It is about helping them acquire the skills they need to overcome all the obstacles in their lives right now, as well as the ones yet to come. It is about setting higher standards of living, training our future leaders, and breaking the cycle of fatherlessness, welfare dependency, drug and alcohol abuse, and violence which have plagued our nation for far too long. The underlying idea is to move all children into adulthood. The essential goal is to prepare boys to be responsible men and girls to be responsible women.
New Data on Sexual Abstinence
YOUTH FACTS is information compiled by The RIDGE Project (from multiple studies) on the benefits of being sexually abstinent. For more info, read our Youth Facts page.
During the 2011 - 2012 school year, we worked collaboratively with 19 fellow organizations throughout Ohio to support direct services to over 76,000 youth in a partnership called The Ohio Adolescent Health Centers (OAHC) funded by the Ohio Department of Health. Students were served in school districts and detention facilities. Please click here to view the OAHC website to learn more about the amazing partner agencies within OAHC.
We offer an annual film camp for youth who are interested in saying no to negative influences of pop culture, and broadcasting that message to the masses. Please click here to view the "Film Camp" page for more information.
All of our programs are thoroughly evaluated and consistently show statistically significant changes among our program participants! A study by the University of Miami reports that 75% of participants plan to abstain from sexual activity until marriage, 95% agree that the best time to have a baby is when they are married, and 91% feel that they can now say no to risky behaviors such as drug and alcohol use.