|SISU Women Advocacy Group (SWAG) is a female led outreach initiative specifically targeting and engaging young women who are at high risk for criminal and/or anti-social behaviors; including associating with known gang members, fighting at school, carrying a weapon, contacts with the Police Department, running away, etc.
SWAG began as a pilot in FY17 and is a component of the SISU model providing workforce development and vocational training, alternative education, parenting and peer support, outreach and tracking, mental health/trauma services, and social-emotional development.
SWAG activities include the "My Life, My Choice" program, the Bitsy Baby parenting support program, field trips, crafts and art workshops, and fundraisers
25 young women were enrolled in the program
13 young women actively engaged with mental health services
20 young women received subsidized employment through the SISU Center and the SWAG program
6 young women stopped running away and going to New York City where they were being sexually exploited.
4 young women were placed in unsubsidized employment or enrolled in higher ed/vocational training programs
8 young woman obtained their driving permits through the SWAG program
At the age of 15, Jade was wrapped up in the streets, involved in gangs, and was the main suspect in the major criminal operation prompting the police raid. At the SISU Center, Jade has engaged with the SWAG program and is connecting to services she needs to succeed in her transition to adulthood. Through SWAG she was able to get a job and his studying for her driving permit. Jade continues to work with SWAG and learn skills that she will carry with her for the rest of her life. She finished her freshman year of high school with all A’s. Her main goals are to graduate from high school and most of all not engage in the activities she had previously engaged in. She hopes to motivate other young women to transform their lifestyle.