Creating a modern form of youth mentoring for high-risk youth.
Definition of SQUAD: A small organized group consisting of ten to 11 personnel, especially: a tactical unit that can be easily directed in the field, engaged in a common effort or occupation, normally led by a more experienced individual.
Your Corps often seeks out disenfranchised youth that are enthusiastically eager to contribute towards a purpose, but are frustrated due to the lack of opportunities in their community to get involved with something they are passionate about; such as technology.
These youths are invited to join our 'engineering ranks' and become the behind the scenes forces of Your Corps as a form of internship; forming a SQUAD, where they regularly meet up with new friends and have fun learning new computer development skills and helping develop greater opportunities for themselves and others in their community.
Our long term goal is to guide and lead young people to become mentors themselves, so that the services can reach more and more young people.
•Learn what each internal component of a computer does.
•Build entirely new computers from scratch.
•Build and troubleshoot broken computers and repair them.
•Form a strong sense of belonging.
•Form a strong sense of community contribution.
•Provide working computers for community gaming events.
•Employment up-skilling and work experience.
•Employment references and official commendation.
Your Corps has identified an overwhelming interest in young people eager to contribute their own time towards the development of video gaming experiences within their community, with many young people actively participating voluntarily to help deliver routine, large-scale video gaming events with recycled gaming computers; built by young people for young people.
This incorporates a huge variety of skills, ranging from salvaging and repairing recycled e-waste, contributing their time as volunteer staff at events by assisting participants less articulated with computers, and researching and developing new digital experiences to deploy on computer systems at community events.
It is our belief, that such contributions demonstrated by so many young people from our community towards these initiatives is unprecedented, illustrating a clear determination for the continuation of this self-driven community, that the young people are building for themselves.
The number of young people that have been positively impacted by their involvement with this programme is significant; from the numerous computers being salvaged and repaired and reducing our communities contribution of e-waste into landfill; to-the increasing numbers of available computers being re-deployed for large-scale community events for children; to-the increased availability of computer systems for various other educational institutions and the increased availability of cheaper computer systems for the development of grass-roots esports initiatives for schools. All of which, will be built by our SQUAD, for the positive use of other young people in their community.
The degree of success regarding an initiative like this has had on young people (that have been widely disregarded by conventional educational systems), becoming instead directly responsible for significant contributions to their region, for themselves and others within their community, in an industry of relevant interest to them, is an enormously proud accomplishment for these 'troubled' youths.
Ultimately, the continuation of this programme to come into fruition on its own accord, and sustain itself independently, spreading throughout the nation, has become be inevitable; knowing the inconceivable numbers of youth with an interest in technology in New Zealand, that are expressing demand for these kinds of experiences, yet are not able to participate in such activities.
With the right infrastructure for youth, Southland is in a position to transform itself from one of the 'bleakest places to be a young person' within New Zealand; along with the highest youth suicide statistics of our country; to instead becoming an environment of unlimited potential for young people, while also attracting more people to the region for technological opportunities, that are offered nowhere else in our nation.
We hope to expand the purpose and vision of what Your Corps is creating, and assisting to realise what opportunities, friendships, and potential these young people will have available to them upon their involvement of this programme.
It is our wish that these youth finally become appreciated for their capabilities. The youth that is often neglected by conventional educational systems; are the the same youth that have already taken up the challenge, to make a difference using the medium of video-games and technology that is available to them.