Violence Prevention and Intervention
LIFE Camp incorporates best practice in youth violence prevention and intervention and tailors activities to fit the unique community ecology and culture in the neighborhoods we serve. According to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, effective prevention of youth involvement in gangs includes: community mobilization, social intervention, opportunities for educational and vocational advancements, and organizational change. LIFE Camp, Inc. uses a unique and creative application of music/arts, film and service as a powerful vehicle to implement these strategies in communities with youth.
Positive Youth Development – I Love My LIFE Campaign
LIFE Camp reinforces its mission through its I Love My LIFE Campaign, using merchandising, promotional materials and positive affirmations to reinforce self esteem and respect for life among teens and young adults in the tri state area. Through the I Love My LIFE Campaign, LIFE Camp provides positive youth development opportunities that harness youth and community strengths and resources to address the epidemic of youth violence, and the conditions and behaviors associated with youth violence such as substance abuse, criminal justice involvement, and poor academic and professional engagement. LIFE Camp’s programs and services are community driven and holistic- developed with the understanding that the best solutions to community problems reside in the hearts and minds of the community, and that strong collaboration and coordination of diverse stakeholders is essential to achieving positive outcomes for youth. LIFE Camp has developed services that reflect an intimate understanding of local community ecology, and that have the unique ability to connect and mobilize youth and community members to prevent and heal from violence in New York City’s most underserved communities.
LIFE Camp harnesses youth interest in media to teach media literacy, encouraging youth to ask questions about what they watch, hear, and read. LIFE Camp provides tools to help youth critically analyze messages, offers opportunities for learners to broaden their experience of media, and helps them develop creative and professional skills in pre/post film and music production. Critical analysis includes detecting propaganda, censorship, and bias in news and public affairs programming (and the reasons for these), and how youth and people of color are portrayed in the media. Youth are taught to understand how structural features such as media ownership affect the information presented, and the importance of developing their own messages and voice in the media through skills development and entrepreneurship. LIFE Camp recruits positive mentors from the community to work directly with youth to achieve their goals.
Community Mobilization and Public-Private Partnerships
LIFE Camp also has had great success in community organizing and mobilization, and the development of public-private partnerships critical to raising awareness. LIFE Camp is a true grass-roots organization, that accomplishes its goals and objectives primarily through a strong volunteer base of more than 100 local community members and in-kind contributions equal to funds acquired through fundraising activities- an indicator of the local community’s need and support of the critical and life-saving services that LIFE Camp provides.