The Youth in Media and Education (Y.I.M.A.E.) program is a multifaceted media and education curriculum that will incorporate incentives and measurable outcome-based components as a non-traditional means for rehabilitation. The program has been designed to validate the premise that exposing troubled community youth to a program model that merges entertainment media with education can indeed positively change the behavior and future outlook of these youth. During the program, the youth will refine technical competencies and grasp lifelong principles that inspire educational advancement and workforce preparation. The overall goal is to help youth develop the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in the modern world—skills such as global awareness, civic engagement, technology literacy, critical thinking, problem-solving and life skills.
One aspect of the Y.I.M.A.E. program that sets it apart from many other programs is its Rites of Passage initiative. Within Y.I.M.A.E., Rites of Passage is the phase that marks a youth’s transition from participation in the Y.I.M.A.E. program to successful graduation and integration back into the community. This phase is focused on ensuring that youths are capable of obtaining jobs, internships, certifications, and continuing education, and aims to place them based on their suitability. Y.I.M.A.E. has linked with several businesses in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area and other out-of-state jurisdictions that have agreed to provide Y.I.M.A.E. graduates with opportunities in the workforce.