Teen Court of Sarasota Receives Funding from Gulf Coast Community Foundation to Provide Teens Tools to Make Better Choices

The Giving Coast

With the generous support of Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Teen Court of Sarasota, Inc. will continue to reduce recidivism for high-need youth. Gulf Coast Community Foundation has awarded Teen Court of Sarasota $30,000 in grant funding to support the various in-house programs used to positively redirect students when they have received a school suspension, Civil Citation, or have been referred to Teen Court by their parent. This funding will ensure the youth referred to Teen Court receive the tools to make better choices and improve their mental well-being. From partnerships between our law enforcement agencies, Teen Court of Sarasota and Gulf Coast Community Foundation will transform the lives of those referred to Teen Court for a second chance. Specifically, those young people who have experimented with drugs or alcohol. The partnership with Gulf Coast Community Foundation will provide support to pay for mental health counseling using Teen Court’s private practice counselors to assure the most at-risk teens do not have a waiting period as they have already shown signs of need. The Anna V. Pfister, Nellie Mae Koss and Helen K. Hadden Memorial Endowment Fund has kindly designated $10,000 of the funding to support the Teen Court Middle School Expansion Program. Teen Court has seen that young people are experimenting with drugs, alcohol and other poor decision-making at an earlier age. Having a Teen Court Case Manager onsite at the middle school level in North Port will ensure that the student’s trajectory into their high school years is free of a tarnish on their record. Additionally, the funding received from Gulf Coast Community Foundation will support the Teen Court’s CAMP X-RAYD (Examine the Reality About Your Decisions) program. This program includes team building with law enforcement, a tour of the morgue, life skills and physical fitness, a visit to the Sarasota County Sheriff recovery pods (with lunch), and an information session at the Venice Fire Department. This is Teen Court’s signature program that addresses those young people who have used drugs or alcohol and have been involved with bullying or fighting or other risky behaviors. They are shown what could happen if they do not turn their lives around in a full Saturday reality day with four weeks of group support classes that follow. Gulf Coast Community Foundation was with Teen Court from the beginning with the expansion of Sarasota County Teen Court services and programs at the satellite location in North Port. Teen Court programs are successful based on a 93% success rate. 

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