Inspiring Lives. Innovating Systems. Improving Outcomes.
The mission of the Bravehearts is to empower young adults touched by the child welfare system to become active and authentic leaders in their own lives as they transition into adulthood. We focus on three elements:
The Bravehearts utilize compassion and understanding to increase the self awareness and esteem of young adults to help develop resiliency and leadership. At our weekly motivational meetings, we work with youth ages 14-26 to change the conversation from “victim to victor” and harness our voices of experience to serve as experts in shaping innovative, strength-based, youth-driven service delivery that promotes healing, hope, and opportunities. A Braveheart is a young adult who has overcome any level of trauma or adversity and has emerged a stronger and wiser version of herself or himself.
We utilize opportunities to speak at the local, national, and international level on the importance of having high expectations for youth due to the systemic soft bigotry of low expectations. We emphasize that when youth are given the ability to work together to inspire one another, that work can build on the hope and resiliency that a young adult needs in order to not just survive, but thrive. We use our voices to guide the redevelopment of systems to improve outcomes for youth. We advocate for youth to use their voices to create change in their communities and within their own lives.
We continuously work in tandem with child welfare professionals in Westchester County and across New York State to help educate professionals, providers, institutions, and young adults on the effects of trauma, the importance of resiliency, and the need for youth voice, as well as creating a standard of trust and transparency within the systems and services we come in contact with. This creates opportunities for youth voices to drive improvements and innovations in the services and programs they themselves and their peers encounter on a daily basis.