How do we do it?
Formed in March 2003, ROYAL - Realizing Our Youth as Leaders, Inc.
(ROYAL) is a young non-profit organization dedicated to providing at-risk youth
with the skills to identify positive opportunities that break the cycle of limited choices that inevitably leads to negative social
consequences. ROYAL was created by Ms. Maggie de Vera who, because of her years of experience as a Clinician, Administrator, Family
and Child Advocate, Social Worker working in the field, and as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, recognized a gap in effective
services for a growing population of forgotten children. ROYAL has demonstrated success in working intensively with children, adults,
and families who have significant behavioral, emotional and mental health issues.
ROYAL has developed collaborations with the Department of Social Services, Department of Human Services, Department of Public Health,
Child Protective Services, the Foster Care System and related agencies, the Department of Juvenile Probation, various Unified School
Districts, drug/alcohol rehabilitation programs outpatient clinics, crisis centers, County Mental Health, and other non profit agencies
serving families and youth.
What We Do
The mission of the agency is to prepare disadvantaged and/or at-risk youth, ages 5 to 18, for success in life by providing therapeutic
counseling services as well as training in personal empowerment and family and community leadership. Through exposure to focused
mentoring and engaging enrichment opportunities, ROYAL develops proper social skills and utilizes resources outside their personal
awareness, to create an opportunity for youth to utilize what they have learned by developing or participating in charitable efforts.
Utilizing focused techniques and approaches learned from years of successful experience in the mental health and counseling fields,
ROYAL seeks to impact disenfranchised youth through an effective support process that includes positive attention and nurturing,
collaboration/linkage to other programs and services, academic support, and through therapeutic interventions that focus on guidance,
positive role models, and significant life skills training.
Our objectives are:
- To enhance self-esteem and self worth
- To provide opportunities to explore positive interactions and accomplishments
- To facilitate tolerance activities that enhance empathy and sensitivity towards those of differing ethnic or cultural origins and/or sexual preferences
- To provide a nurturing environment that is safe and fosters a sense of belonging
- To develop personal awareness, an understanding of self and others
- To provide support to an underserved and neglected population in a manner sensitive to mental health, cultural, community and disability issues
Those We Serve
ROYAL provides services to boys and girls, ages 5 to 18, as well as their families. Comprised of all races and sexual orientation,
this population is disadvantaged, at-risk and disenfranchised. On a daily basis they often face multiple issues including neglect, poor
backgrounds, dangerous/chaotic living environments (home and community), abuse and/or a history of mental health and behavioral issues.
Additionally, every day they can be familiar with academic failures and domestic violence, and see firsthand the impact of neighborhood
gangs. Some are on probation, some are experiencing drug and alcohol issues, and some are in mental health programs for youth and family.
These children are referred from community outreach efforts, County Social Services, County Mental Health Services, and sometimes by the
Where We Help
Our current facility is in San Franciscos Noe Valley and provides a structured, nurturing environment as an alternative to negative
activities in home or community. This is our place, where youngsters are safe and comfortable, a place where they can receive positive
attention, supervision, and guidance from successful adult role models, and where they can benefit from enrichment programs and
activities. ROYAL strongly believes that building self-esteem improves academic performance as well as the ability to succeed overall in
life. It is our goal, either through collaboration or construction, to provide expanded services in a larger Drop-In Center. This
facility will provide all the existing services that ROYAL offers and will incorporate an After School Tutorial Program. Designed to help
youth meet classroom challenges that are preventing them from succeeding at their grade level, the After School Tutorial Program will
enable youth to access homework assistance in a safe, structured environment. Staffed by volunteer students or interns one on one and
group homework assistance will be open from 3:00pm to 8pm.
ROYAL provides an array of services that address specific needs of at-risk youth. These services improve self-esteem and assist youth
in making better choices. The most important outcomes are that they become positive role models for peers, siblings and other community
youth, exhibit self-control and tolerance, and move towards personal growth. We expect positive change from our young participants, and
are looking for the following results:
- Participants learn life, social communication and coping skills
- Participants become a positive role model for peers and siblings
- Participants learn the concept of integrity
- Participants engage facets of community outside current closed experiences
- Participants expand their knowledge and perspectives and confront their fears of social issues they are unfamiliar with
- Families and/or Caregivers receive support, guidance and education to assist in participant development
- Participants demonstrate their progress through a process that includes volunteering, mentoring, setting goals and moving towards self-sufficiency.
- Participants shine!
Program and participant evaluations are comprised of a series of benchmark activities tracked on standardized forms that indicate
engagement in activities, pre and post assessments, treatment plan/treatment plan updates, input from family, school, treatment team
members and other social service providers, and demonstrated progress in meeting listed Outcomes.