We have two types of Parent Academies. Our original Parent Academy trains parents of adolescents to better support and build a relationship with their soon-to-be teenager. As parents graduate from our Academy, they immediately begin to use their new knowledge and networks to advocate for their families and transform the broader community. Topics include brain development, parenting styles, mental health, establishing a healthy culture in the home, and much more. While parents are working with their facilitators, their children join a lesson taught by Youth Community Services.
Our newest Parent Academy focuses on environmental justice. Using our original model, we organize and empower community residents to take ownership of their advocacy abilities. The goal is to ensure low income and immigrant communities’ inclusion in discussions and policies related to climate change. Through this process, participants built their environmental understanding incrementally as a cohort during the multi-week sessions. A particularly useful approach of the Environmental Justice Parent Academy is to inspire participants about their role as parents and draw from their expertise from their cultural background and experiences to improve the environment and prepare for climate resilience.
Both Academies are well known for adapting these workshops to local cultural identities, including Pacific Islander, African American, and Latino/a. A trainer who identifies with each group facilitates the meetings.