Fresh Lifelines for Youth celebrates 10 years of turning lives around

 In Social Justice

FLY Law Program Jeopardy game

“I will take Police for 200.”

Question: “If you are stopped by a police officer, what are three things you should do?”

Do you know the answer?

Last night at the Stanford Faculty Club, this clever game of “Law Jeopardy” challenged guests celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Fresh Lifelines for Youth (better known as “FLY”) on their knowledge of the California legal system.

This creative spin on the iconic American quiz show illuminates one of many innovative ways that FLY staff and volunteers capture the attention of FLY’s Law Program students, youth ages 14-18 who are on probation, at-risk of probation or incarcerated.

After hearing the words, “If only I knew how much trouble I would get into … ” over and over from incarcerated youth while she was a Stanford law student, Christa Gannon built FLY on the advice from kids in Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall who were facing lengthy prison sentences. It turns out that some youth who break the law may not have been fully aware of the consequences of crime in the first place.

Following the trade show concept, in the “FLY Expo” staff and youth clients shared interactive games like FLY Law Jeopardy along with creative photo montages, books of poetry and other creations by youth whose lives were turned around by FLY’s law, leadership and mentor programs.

FLY chalkboard: Costs of incarceration versus FLY's programsAfter the Expo and a meet and greet in the faculty club’s outdoor atrium, over 300 supporters gathered to hear about the organization’s 10-year journey. They made a convincing case for how every dollar invested in FLY delivers a winning cost-benefit to society. This image, posted on the FLY website, illustrates the point.

As a consultant to FLY, I am proud to support their grant program. You can learn more about the history of FLY on their website and read a recent article on the Knight Foundation blog:

How do you turn teens in trouble into youth who give back? Social entrepreneurs give tips on engaging youth.”

To learn more about FLY’s founder and executive director, Christa Gannon, visit her profile as an Ashoka Fellow at Ashoka.org.

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