VETERANS EMPOWERING TEENS THROUGH SUPPORT® (V.E.T.T.S.®)
A Restorative Justice Mentoring Program
High school students from New Haven, Bridgeport, and the surrounding area flooded in through the doors of Davis Hall at Southern Connecticut State University on the morning of March 16th and 17th, 2017. The 3rd annual V.E.T.T.S. Teen Summit was about to ensue. Veteran mentors and staff from Integrated Wellness Group waited enthusiastically to get the 2-day youth summit underway; this was an opportunity to impact and inspire the life of High school students in our community of New Haven! Students attended for a variety of reasons. For many teenagers, the V.E.T.T.S. Teen Summit had a lot more to offer than just a day off from school.
The V.E.T.T.S. has been working in the community to address the needs of the youth especially those who may be dealing with Urban Trauma for the last four years. The V.E.T.T.S. program and the Teen Summit took into consideration the issues and circumstances that African American and Latino teenagers face on a daily basis.
The youth were also introduced to college campus life, including fraternities and sororities, and were encouraged to explore various career options in business (entrepreneurship), Information Technology, Trade schools, Culinary, and a possible career in the U.S. armed forces.
Leandre Crandell, a student at Creed High School, left highly motivated and is looking forward to next year. “When I left on Friday I was forced to think to myself, what is it I want in life? I showed up with a bad attitude, but I could not help but shake it off. These people at the V.E.T.T.S. program and IWG really care about us. They helped me realize that my destiny is in my hands, and it helps to know that they have my back. I wish I had brought my friends.”