VETERANS EMPOWERING TEENS THROUGH SUPPORT® (V.E.T.T.S.®)
A Restorative Justice Mentoring Program
The V.E.T.T.S. research project in a collaborative effort between V.E.T.T.S. (a program of Integrated Wellness Group) and the Yale School of Medicine, Child Study Center. The V.E.T.TS. study will seek to document the effects of participation in a mentoring program for young people who may be at risk for or currently are gang involved. It will also document the characteristics of the young people and their veteran mentors’. Over time, this study will observe the number and type of contact made between veterans and their mentees. Outcomes of interest will be the number of offenses committed, changes in pro-social activities, changes in psychological functioning, and the involvement in career-related activities by these young people during, and one-year post their involvement with the veterans mentoring program. Dr. Gordon and Akbar are co-principal investigators in the V.E.T.T.S. research project.
Derrick Gordon, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology Section), Yale University School of Medicine and the Division of Prevention and Community Research. He serves as the Director of the research, Policy and Program on Male Development at The Consultation Center and is a scientist in the Community Research Core of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA).Dr. Gordon’s work with men and families has and continues to focus on increasing their health and positive involvement in family and community life. Dr. Gordon’s clinical work, research, and consultation focuses on issues like adolescent fatherhood, mentoring for adolescents who are gang involved, low income fatherhood status, transitioning from prison to the community, the impact that access and use of preventive health care services have on community members, and understanding the interplay between poverty and stigma on the healthy development of individual and community life. Overall Dr. Gordon in his research seeks to identify those factors that enhance the health and well-being of men identified as being on the “fringes.”
Maysa Akbar Ph.D., ABPP is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor at the Yale Child Study Center. Dr. Akbar completed her pre and post doctoral fellowship at the Child Study Center with a concentration on Early Childhood and Autism. After completing her fellowship she worked in the Autism clinic where she advanced research in the field of Autism Spectrum Disorders. She published and presented several studies in the area of autism, pragmatic language and executive functions. In the last 8 years she has refocused her research endeavors to her first love cultural diversity, racial identity/socialization, and the effectiveness of psychotherapy in the undeserved communities. Currently, Dr. Akbar is in the process of writing her first book on Urban Trauma which is due to be released in July 2017. Dr. Akbar continues to advance the field of psychology by the major contributions she makes in understanding culture, trauma, and working with marginalized, or otherwise oppressed communities.