Our program, An Adult GPS Through Adolescence is a project of CNDC (Colorado Nonprofit Development Center.) This program helps adults understand teenagers and help them with violence, bullying, and addiction. Often adults are busy, unavailable or just overwhelmed because of this we have schools who’ve tested a variety of social prevention programs to develop better interpersonal skills.
The Adult’s GPS Through Adolescence program offers an innovative approach to what has been a pervasive problem of adolescent risk, violence, bullying and addiction. The cost of adolescent risky behavior has been incalculable for this nation both in real dollar terms and in relation to the many hidden costs to our culture when pervasive violence, pernicious health issues and emotional trauma are factored in.
Over the years, our schools have tested a variety of social-emotional prevention programs focusing on training teens to develop better interpersonal skills, stronger self-protection skills and empathy-building to help negotiate the turbulence of adolescence in a violent culture. But that success rate has been marginal, largely because these interventions have focused exclusively on only one half of the vital problem of teen risk, the adolescent. This narrow focus has neglected the other half of this vital equation, the all-important role of the adult in a child’s growth and development
Our vision is to develop a pilot project that will touch every adult who comes in contact with an adolescent, be they a parent, teacher, coach, administrator or simply an adult family friend in an effort to inculcate certain key concepts, ways of understanding adolescent behavior and a common terminology. As adults tend not to pursue further training or education in this vital area, our program will instead go directly to them—citywide. We started by choosing a large U.S. metropolitan city, Denver, Colorado, as our national pilot.