AFFIRMATIVE ATHLETICS is an ‘at-promise’ youth diversion & development program providing mentorship, positive community building and engagement through reading, weekly journal writing and organized sports in Los Angeles juvenile probation facilities.
Since our inception in 2005, we have developed a creative, structured platform accompanying with athletics for achieving positive outcomes in rehabilitating incarcerated, mostly gang-affiliated young boys.
WHO WE ARE
We are a non-profit program providing an annual journal writing and organized sports (spring flag football and fall basketball) for ‘at-promise’ incarcerated youth in Los Angeles Secure Youth Track Facilities. We promote safe, creative yet competitive environments that help teenage boys with mental and emotional development.
The program was created in the spring 2005 at Malibu’s Camp Miller; a juvenile probation facility housing mostly gang-affiliated teenage boys. After its successful inaugural season, the program moved to Camp Holton (Sylmar) where it calmed the tense environment between youth and probation staff. This was where the program began to take shape with the inaugural season of our successful basketball program.
Since then, our mission has been to provide an educational and athletic wellness program to Los Angeles Secure Youth Track Facilities. After a brief hiatus due to Covid, we return with the intent of being a lynchpin of youth development in the reimagining of juvenile justice.
WHAT WE DO
Our facilitated fourteen-week journal writing workshops are a safe space where ‘at-promise’ youth learn our core principles of planning, preparing, performing and reviewing post-game performances through cognitive, creative writing.
The youth are given crafted journals to document their on-field/on-court experiences by using our ‘one word‘ methodology by describing thoughts, emotions and moments. These workshops also provide a safe space for teams and mentors for sharing and reviewing game and life experiences. This creative, intensive process builds interpersonal relationships and community that youth aren’t usually open to doing so.
WHAT WE OFFER
We offer two fourteen-week intensive journal writing workshops along with the SPRING AFFIRMATIVE FLAG FOOTBALL and FALL AFFIRMATIVE ATHLETICS BASKETBALL programs. Taking inspiration from professional leagues in imaginative and organizational ways, we have had complete success in transforming lives and building character by:
- Conducting ‘drafts‘ where our youth sign conduct contracts then get randomly chosen to our program’s flag football or basketball ‘franchises‘ with mentors/coaches.
- Facilitating structured weekly journaling, two-day practices and Saturday day games.
- Printing weekly newsletters filled with stats, scores and program highlights distributed throughout the facility and supporters which broadens our community.
- End of the season program ‘Honors‘ where we celebrate all our youth’s dedication and achievements.
- Guest speakers who help give insight and advice to our ‘at-promise’ youth during their journey.