We keep the community at the center of everything we do. Our model shows how community members conduct research, work on programs and participate in training and education. Our belief is that community members are experts and know their strengths and weaknesses best. Together, we build on strengths from within.
We start with neighborhood-level data and concerns, and working together with residents, we write strategic working blueprints that we use to guide all our work.
We work in communities to build on their cultural and linguistic heritage. We celebrate culture to identify strengths and weaknesses.
We teach people to advocate for themselves and we give programs back to the community to run. We also teach the community to create and adopt their own programs. We believe that communities know the solutions that are best for them. We also partner with them to teach them to conduct the research to "prove what you already know," and we keep them involved through monthly meetings and events.
A Science-based Approach
We work with science-based methods and approaches using participatory evaluation. We use these methods to examine the issues at the individual, peer, family, school work, community and societal levels.
We recruit, train and hire from the community in which we work. Our programs are successful because they are community designed and monitored and are overseen by Community Advisory Boards.