Space of His Own(SOHO) provides preteen boys with one-on-one volunteer adult mentors to foster social, emotional, academic and creative enrichment. Youth engage through visual arts, carpentry and life skills classes and work with their mentors to transform their bedrooms and build bright futures. Our programs prevent juvenile delinquency and promote success in school.
Once a week mentors and mentees come together to do hands-on carpentry and visual arts projects taught by qualified volunteers. Before the mentors arrive, the boys are engaged in life skills lessons that range from conflict resolution to organization skills. Through our carpentry component students learn practical skills while being guided and supported by positive adult mentors. Beginning in September the program runs until June, culminating in mentors working in teams to renovate their mentees’ bedrooms. After the initial program year, mentors and mentees continue to go on outings and attend SOHO alumni events, continuing their mentoring relationship for many years.
Educational, governmental and social services organizations throughout Northern Virginia recognize that multiple factors influence the ability of low-income young people to succeed in school and in life, including a lack of economic opportunity, access to afterschool learning, community service opportunities and cultural institutions that support a child’s development. Furthermore, many of the youth experience inconsistent relationships with positive adults.
In 2013, seeing the need for mentor programs among the cities male youth, SOHO, Inc. partnered with Alexandria’s Juvenile Court Service Unit and the Alexandria Seaport Foundation to pilot Space of His Own, to become the male counterpart to Space of Her Own. Now in its third year, SOHO has served 31 local boys by providing them with weekly life skills lessons, nutritious meals and successful adult mentors. All of our Space of His Own graduates have demonstrated dramatic improvements in life skills and 97% have not become court-involved.
Visit our sister site: www.spaceofherown.org