Program Strategy and Structure with Youth in the Juvenile Justice System

OHP is focused on youth who are in detention facilities across the country. After initial engagement with the facility and permission to connect with youth, there are four steps:

  1. Education: OHP Curriculum that delivers learning modules in social and emotional intelligence

  2. Mentoring: OHP recruits, screens, matches and monitors a one on one mentor relationship designed to support the learning modules add relational stability

  3. Training: Once the curriculum is absorbed and a mentoring relationship is established, OHP connects youth to partners who train in life and vocational skills

  4. Employment: Tied closely to the training are job opportunities that are available from other partners when the youth is released.

At the end of the four-step process, OHP connects the individual youth to other partners who can help with the transition from institutional to independent living. This includes transportation connections, transitional housing options, counseling and community engagement.

Program Structure

OHP leadership and team members initiate engagement with a Juvenile Detention facility and lead steps one and two. OHP relies on other community partners to take the lead in steps three and four and the transitional steps after employment.

Organizational Strategy

OHP is organized nationally with a National Board and staff that oversee and assist local programs to be initiated, seeded and matured. As requests from new facilities to have the OHP programs initiative deployed, a local committee is organized to pursue several factors before an OHP initiative is launched. These factors are:

• Engagement and buy-in from state/local Juvenile Justice authorities
• Engagement and buy-in from state/local Juvenile Justice facility leadership
• Community support for the start up and first year budgets
• Community support for the training and employment elements of the program

When infrastructure elements identified by the local community are in place, OHP engages and hires a local director, curriculum facilitator and fundraising assistant.

Organizational Structure

OHP is operated as a program under a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization named Heart of a Champion. All donations and grant support go to this national entity and are reserved by restricted fund accounting principles for local programs supported. Local supporters therefore give to the national office, with their gifts designated for the local program. OHP hires and compensates all staff at the national and local level through OPH program of Heart of a Champion.

The national operations and finances are overseen by a non-profit Board of Directors, who are not compensated members of any OHP team. They oversee and insure the fiduciary integrity of the program.

In each community, OHP forms local boards for the purposes of raising local funds, building local training and transition relationships and relating to local municipalities. partners are so important and we accomplish a lot together etc. 


(see also Topeka Partnership Model)

Heart n Hand (Belton, Missouri).

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