A Transformative Mentoring Program

On August 4, 2011, Mayor Bloomberg announced the Young Men’s Initiative (YMI), a bold and comprehensive effort to help black and Latino young men achieve their professional, educational, and personal goals. YMI brings together an array of programs and services designed to increase access to mentoring, education, employment, and various opportunities for civic and community engagement. The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, in collaboration with the Department of Probation and the Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO), is partnering with NYCID and several City agencies, community-based organizations and foundations on a number of innovative program and policy initiatives that focus on neighborhoods with high concentrations of people on probation. Arches is one of several YMI programs designed to serve young adults on probation in New York City.

Arches is considered to be a “Transformative Mentoring” program where intensive relationship building is promoted to inspire young adults to transform the attitudes and behaviors that have led to negative identity, antisocial attitudes, and criminal behavior.

The core components of Arches include:

  • A group process where the members become an important support system for each other.
  • A curriculum delivered by culturally appropriate mentors.
  • A setting that incorporates positive values, principles and practices.

The group process is central to Arches. It provides an opportunity for the participants to self-examine certain attitudes and behaviors that may be keeping them entangled in the criminal justice system. Arches participants gain a better understanding of personal responsibility, enhance their social skills, improve their relationships, develop their self esteem, and improve their problem-solving skills.

Participants must be 16 to 24 years of age and referred to the program by their Probation Officer. Over a period of six months participants will transform many of their thoughts and behaviors and will be linked with jobs, internships and other self-help opportunities. Participants are also given stipends, Metro Cards, hot meals and participate in a curriculum that utilizes Interactive Journaling throughout the duration of the program.

For more information, contact:

Julius Walker
Phone: 718-947-4059
Fax: 718-876-6068


This Program is partially funded by:

Staten Island Rotary Foundation