COMPASS Youth Collaborative, Inc.

COMPASS Youth Collaborative connects with the High risk youth wherever they are. We engage them in relationships to provide supports and opportunities that help them become ready, willing, and able to succeed in education, employment, and life.


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COMPASS Youth Collaborative we connect to Hartford’s high-risk youth wherever they are. We engage them in relationships to provide support and opportunities that help them become ready, willing and able to succeed in education, work, and life.

More than 20 years ago, parents in Hartford’s South End neighborhood, worried about youth violence and gangs, founded COMPASS Youth Collaborative. Originally an after-school tutoring and basketball program located in one middle school gym, today COMPASS is a leader in helping youth succeed in life and academically. To achieve our mission we operate three of Hartford’s seven community schools, using a national strategy shown to improve educational outcomes for urban students.

COMPASS delivers academic, quality enrichment programming Monday – Thursday as well as recreational activities on Fridays that foster child development. The following is the after-school model:

Academics – our homework club allows for students to begin their homework with support from certified teachers from the school as well as receive tutoring from COMPASS professional youth development workers.  (NOTE: Unfortunately there is not enough time to finish assignments however we make our best effort that homework assignments are clear for the students to finish at home.)

 Enrichment – our enrichment program allows for creativity and self-definition to transpire.  Students are given the opportunity to shop for their ideal program which consists of STEM, art, theater, computer research techniques, cooking, team building activities, life skills, yoga, dance, etc.

Recreation – our recreation program encompasses opportunities for students to release academic pressures and enjoy ½ hour to 45 minutes of free play including but not limited to gym, pool, outdoor activities, educational and inspiring films/movies and challenging game opportunities. 

 Supper – through a federal grant to the Hartford Public Schools food service department, Compass is able to serve hot nutritious meals from the five food groups to our students on a daily basis.

 Fun Fridays - our fun Friday activities allow for students to engage in social discussions with their peers and are developed to build team spirit and cohesiveness. Field trips are also included along with free play activities mentioned above. 

Ten years ago COMPASS pioneered the Peacebuilders Initiative, which is based on the acclaimed Ceasefire project in Chicago (now known as Cure Violence). COMPASS Peacebuilders is an evidence-based violence mitigation and drop-out prevention program that works with Hartford youth at risk for perpetrating or becoming the victims of violence. Peacebuilders aims to increase the likelihood that disengaged youth will reengage in the pathways of education and/or employment and avoid involvement in the criminal justice system.

Peacebuilders’ street outreach teams, comprised of youth development advisors (YDAs) who themselves are former at-risk youth, mediate conflicts and prevent youth violence through relationship building, training, coaching, and promoting nonviolent solutions to problems. The program teaches youth life skills that have been shown to prevent involvement with the juvenile justice system and builds a positive, neighborhood-based coalition of youth.

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