YOUTH DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

We believe that education is the most powerful resource for personal, family and community development. Our initial goal was to help students break the cycle of poverty through financial aid. However, with time and experience we realized that financial assistance was not sufficient. This is why CasaSito developed a holistic program that also includes psycho-social support, workshops, club activities, and volunteerism. This encourages the students’ personal growth and helps to form future leaders who can create permanent change for themselves, their families, and their communities.

As part of this process we aim to maintain an equal gender ratio, and to support students from various  ethnic backgrounds, both rural and urban.

 

 

SELECTION PROCESS

Prospective new scholars must go through a rigorous application process. This includes:

  1. An essay

  2. Letter of recommendation

  3. Conduct report

  4. Home visit from a psychologist or social worker

  5. Interview with the scholarship committee

Once the student is selected, he/she will have the opportunity to continue receiving the scholarship until graduation, if all requirements are met.

FINANCIAL SUPPORT

CasaSito believes in empowerment; youth who take responsibility for their education are more likely to succeed. Therefore, we teach our scholars how to open a bank account, and how to administer their own fees monthly.

To accomplish this, every student receives a check or a deposit and every month they bring receipts to justify their educational expenses. Through this process, we have been successful at giving our scholars ownership and agency of their education.

PSYCHO-SOCIAL SUPPORT

Our psycho-social support is a crucial space that empowers our youth for the future. When a scholar encounters a serious situation such as health problems, very low academic performance, bullying, and/or family violence; a psychologist or social worker guides and supports them through ongoing follow-up and monitoring. There are many cases when home and school visits are necessary to learn more about the challenges, and the best way to address issues that arise.

Those who are determined to need additional psychological support have access to 3 qualified psychologists who provide professional counseling for scholars and their families. The most unique aspect of our scholarship program is that each of the scholars receives individualized attention. Our psychologists provide ongoing monitoring, follow up, and support. Once a month each scholar meets with one psychologist to discuss their overall development. They discuss several aspects of their life such as their progress at school, life at home, work life, and extra-curricular activities. It is during these key moments that the scholars open up and share their difficulties. We supplement our psycho-social support with family orientation.

CasaSito partners with expert organizations to address intra-family relationships, increase student’s self-esteem, instill healthy social skills, and develop leadership skills. These are planned strategically so that parents can better support their children.

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOPS

Our workshop pedagogical plan divides our workshops into three main themes for scholars: academic and work skills, life skills and mental health, and non-violence and human rights. For parents, workshops focus on the last two themes. Workshops for youth focused on personal development from preparing for a job interview to financial planning to self-esteem. Our parents received workshops focusing on changing attitudes and behavior, such as addressing violence and family dynamics.

EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

At CasaSito we believe that art and self-expression are vital to empowering youth, which is why we have several extracurricular activities throughout the year that teach our youth skills in public speaking, research, critical thinking, artistic expression and much more. Check out our extracurricular activities.