The Youth Development Program addresses young women’s developmental, social, and emotional needs through strengths-based programming. Commercially sexually exploited young women often need encouragement to become aware of their inherent value and innate potential. The vast majority have experienced negativity and low expectations from adults throughout their lives. GEMS does not believe in treating youth simply as passive victims, but works to develop young women’s sense of self as empowered and competent. Providing a strong sense of agency, structure and accountability is vital for young women’s development into self-sufficient, independent young adults. GEMS sets high standards and expectations for its members, confident that youth will strive to develop their full potential when given the right resources and tools. A philosophy of high expectations does not negate the reality of the struggle but continually supports youth to move forward, step-by-step, toward a better future.
GEMS has established three building blocks to youth development:
- Recreational, Educational, and Therapeutic Groups
- The Youth Leadership Program
- The Educational Initiatives Program