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R. A. I. S. E.

Reasonable Alternative To Incarceration Through Self-Esteem

The purpose of the RAISE Evening Program is to provide a safe environment for all participants during afternoon and early evening hours, which are high risk time periods in young adult lives. The following are the components of the RAISE Evening Program:

High School Completion

All efforts are made to have the participants successfully graduate from high school. The RAISE staff works closely with the high schools throughout Ocean County to monitor our participants’ progress towards this ultimate and important goal.

For those participants who have terminated their high school education, The RAISE Evening Program offers preparation for the new High School Equivalency Exam (formerly known as the GED) through the St. Francis Community Center. Once the preparation has been completed, arrangements are made for the participants to take the High School Equivalency Exam.

The RAISE Evening Program has a strong bond with Ocean County College. Participants who graduate from high school or successfully pass the High School Equivalency Exam are referred to Ocean County College to begin their post-secondary education. The RAISE staff assists these participants in completing the forms necessary to apply for financial aid.

Vocational / Technical Educational Enhancement

A strong partnership exists between the RAISE Evening Program and the Ocean County Vocational Technical Schools. RAISE participants engage in three classes each month at the Brick Center in the areas of Culinary Arts, Construction Trades and Auto Mechanics. These monthly classes provide RAISE participants the opportunity to experience these programs with actual OCVTS staff members. RAISE participants have been so motivated by these classes that they actually enrolled at OCVTS on a shared- time or post-secondary basis. The OCVTS Evaluation Team comes to the RAISE site to meet with interested participants and administers the pre-qualifying tests for the various programs.

Community Service

Participants that have been assigned Community Service hours by the courts, can complete these required house at the RAISE Evening Program. Participants engage in meaningful vocationally oriented tasks to fulfill their required hours. This allows them to gain various skills, which may lead to possible future employment. Accurate records of completed hours are kept and reported to the proper authority.

Life Skills

The RAISE Evening Program is totally committed to helping participants develop life skills necessary to live productive, healthy lives. The new RAISE Expansion Program helps participants deal with Substance Abuse issues by working with certified counselors.

RAISE participants also engage in these vital Life Skill areas as part of their daily routine: Basic Woodworking, Basic Auto, Basic Culinary Arts, and Work Readiness. The RAISE staff assists the participants in both job searches and job interview preparation.