Did you know that 52% of California’s male inmates have been in the foster system? Unfortunately, this is no coincidence. At age 18, foster youth are exited from the foster system, often with little to no monetary or familial support. Sadly, many resort to illegal measures in order to survive. Fortunately, in San Diego there are organizations who are teaching these young men to self-advocate and be successful, contributing members to our city.
In order to strengthen these efforts, The Junior League of San Diego, along with community partners, have developed the Brand of Brothers resource event where young men will “shop” for suits and interview clothing, receive haircuts, get legal advice, and enjoy a supportive and encouraging environment.
The Making of Brand of Brothers
During a previous JLSD Solutions Summit, a Community Partner Vina Sandal, a social worker at San Diego County Health and Human Services, brought forth the idea that JLSD should collaboratively host a wellness event geared towards transition aged youth (TAY) males. Until now, there has not been a male-only wellness event for transition aged youth. The event encompasses nearly all of the TAY Task Force concepts, which are the outcomes and road maps created at Solutions Summit. These include men’s mental health, legal aid, health services, career preparedness, family planning, and financial literacy.
As soon as JLSD took the lead on accepting the opportunity to host Brand of Brothers, Vanessa Arteaga, mental health provider and Director at TAY Academy and Dairrick Hodges, social worker at The SOULcial Worker and Director at Urban Beats jumped on board.
Suit Up for Success
On February 23rd from 2:00-5:30 PM, JLSD will host the very first Brand of Brothers at The Waterfront Park. One hundred fifty male transition aged youth will come together to be outfitted and styled with free business attire, receive haircuts, lunch, entertainment by Gill Soto, health and wellness tips, family planning information, and legal resources.