Las Vegas Sun

September 23, 2018

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FINDLAY GOOD WORKS:

Real Talk provides programming to keep youth out of jail

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Christopher DeVargas

Sheree Corniel is executive director of Real Talk Youth Impact Program Inc.

Sheree D. Corniel, Real Talk Youth Impact Program Inc.

• Title: Executive Director

• Agency address: 401 S. Fourth Street #180, Las Vegas, NV 89101

• Agency phone number: 702-625-2417

• Agency website: realtalkyip.org

• Hours of operation: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday

What is Findlay Good Works?

Good Works is a twice-monthly series in Las Vegas Weekly in which we highlight the efforts of nonprofit groups that are making a difference in our community. You can check out the good work of more organizations by visiting facebook.com/FindlayAutoGroup.

What does your organization do?

Real Talk Youth Impact Program Inc. (RTYIP) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation established in 2013 to combat the number of youths who end up in the correctional system. We provide them with free proactive and reactive programming, meetings and the opportunity for positive change.

Since its inception, we have served 1,194 participants and successfully graduated 686. Our overall graduation rate to date is 57 percent.

Our monthly Change One meetings provide youths an opportunity to engage with motivational speakers, as well as male and female ex-offender volunteers who share their stories to offer our young attendees a window into the life that is ahead of them if they make destructive choices.

Another component of the program is working with the parents. While youth participants attend their meetings, parents have a meeting of their own in a separate room to discuss issues, concerns or questions they may have. They’re provided information about signs and symptoms of negative behavior in their child and how to navigate the behaviors.

As participants continue the program, obstacles to the youth’s success are uncovered, so RTYIP provides a variety of other community resources and partners with other agencies. We’re also expanding with a leadership and career mentoring program to keep youths involved for more than just three months, so they continue to grow and development their skills and goals.

Who are your clients today?

A majority of our youths are from the inner city in Southern Nevada. We receive referrals from schools, coaches, school social workers, deans and a host of others.

What are the organization’s current initiatives or goals?

Save as many families as we can. Issues generally start at home and are then displayed in the community. When addressing the family as a whole, we begin to change one youth at time and provide them with the tools needed to become successful and productive.

Other initiatives are a career mentoring program and a leadership program. We anticipate having the career mentoring program active by end of 2018 and the leadership program shortly after.

Our ultimate goal is to take Real Talk national.

What can people do to get involved in the cause you serve?

Contact our office. Visit one of our monthly meetings. Become a volunteer. Donate money or assist with getting corporate or private donors. We also need more volunteer ex-offenders—males and females—to be a part of our program and speak to our youths about their past.

What can Southern Nevadans do to improve our community in general?

By getting involved and knowing what and where our community lacks. Essentially being more observant and doing something to make a difference. It does not have to be huge but something that can assist in making changes collectively.

Anything else you want to tell us?

More than 2 million people are incarcerated in the U.S. We lead the world in incarcerating individuals. If we can start early by assisting our youth and providing them tools for a positive change, we can begin to decrease the national incarceration rate. It starts with our community. Get involved and give back—be it a financial donation or your time.