What age group is the Empower Youth Program intended to serve?
The Empower Youth Program was designed for youth in seventh grade and up, or starting at about the age of twelve.
In addition, keep in mind that the Empower Youth Program is also a great resource for adults who want to learn about issues of child exploitation.
Is the program just designed for girls?
The Empower Youth Program was carefully designed to appeal to both young men and young women. Both male and female participants and characters demonstrate how to navigate vulnerability to stay safe from any form of exploitation. While it is true that some forms of exploitation – such as child sex trafficking – tend to affect more girls than boys, our young men are often being targeted to become exploiters themselves. In this way, it is evident that we must inspire empathy in both boys and girls, and empower them to stay safe from exploitation of all forms.
What distinguishes the Empower Youth Program from other prevention tools?
The program is distinct for many reasons:
- Peer-led prevention: Rather than featuring adults who talk the program’s content, the program’s media content is led by young people who demonstrate what they have learned about how to navigate vulnerability. This creates greater buy-in among youth, who are looking for authenticity and can relate strongly to their own peers.
- Non-sensationalized: The media and language used in the program is not sensational. You won’t find images of girls in chains, for instance. We believe it is important to be real with students, but to do so without exposing them to gratuitous imagery.
- Easy to facilitate in numerous contexts: The Empower Youth Program makes an excellent addition to a classroom, and can even be used to meet Common Core Standards, but it is also relevant in non-classroom settings such as youth groups, after-school youth service programs, counseling sessions, probation services, or group homes. It could also make for a great series of family nights with your kids in your own living room.
- Preventing Exploitation, not just human trafficking: The Empower Youth Program is intended to help youth learn to navigate vulnerability so that they can stay safe from all forms of exploitation, not just human trafficking. By addressing the root issues, we are aiming for sustainable and widespread cultural change for today’s youth.
- Character education: Similarly, our commitment to nurturing the development of empathy is driven by our belief that empathy is key to solving issues of injustice. True prevention means finding a way to stop the flow of exploitation, rather than just managing the effects downstream. This program is a great addition to schools with a character education focus, and to anyone who is seeking to truly empower youth with the tools to be successful and safe.
What are the student and facilitator surveys like, and what is their purpose?
The student surveys come in two sections: A pre-unit survey, which consists of scaled questions (On a scale of 1 to 5, how would you rate . . .?), and a post-unit survey which consists of scaled questions and short answer questions. We estimate that the surveys should take 5-10 minutes to complete.
Facilitators will be asked to complete one survey after finishing the final module. It consists of multiple-choice questions, scaled questions, and short answer questions. We estimate that it should take 10-15 minutes to complete.
The purpose of the surveys is both to allow students an opportunity to process what they already know and what they have learned, and also to provide iEmpathize with feedback to assess the program and trace its impact. We are committed to ongoing development to meet the needs of youth; student and facilitator feedback is an essential part of that process!
What is the purpose of the youth wallet cards?
The wallet cards are business card-sized cards that students can keep in their purses or wallets. The cards have reminders about the core concepts in the Empower Youth Program. The card also features the National Human Trafficking Hotline so that if students ever need help because of a trafficking situation, they will have the number to call.