The Brave Overt Leaders of Distinction (B.O.L.D.) Program was started in 2010 to provide assistance to young men between the ages of 16-24 who needed professional guidance in addressing their life situations and circumstances. These young men needed community resources or services for the intervention and/or prevention of criminal activity and/or incarceration. Many were unemployed, under-employed and/or under-educated. At that time, many of these young men had dropped out of school, been incarcerated or were homeless.
Now, through persistence and perseverance, the B.O.L.D. program has risen to provide one-of-a-kind holistic services like no other community-based organization designed to work with young men with criminal or background infractions.
The B.O.L.D. program aims to render intensive services, including case management, with life skills and empowerment activities, to enrich the lives of these young men by addressing the development and growth of the whole person—physical, mental, spiritual and educational.
In addition, a variety of community resource specialists and community developmental leaders have committed to invest their wealth of knowledge, skills, and financial sponsorship into the B.O.L.D. program and witness the redemption of these young men. Instead of them returning to lives of gang violence, premature parenting, drug trafficking and incarceration, they have decided to return to school to obtain their high school diplomas or GED’s (graduate equivalency diploma), job training certificates/licenses, college degrees or certificates and/or gainful employment opportunities leading to careers. This allows for the whole person to become engaged in developmental activities that would eventually lead to gainful employment.
B.O.L.D. members also participate in community service projects and neighborhood events, which afford them opportunities to enhance the world around them, gain employability skills and develop an awareness of and practice work ethics.
The B.O.L.D. program drives to create a community-based organization that is rooted in the theory of empowerment by creating learning experiences and providing services that cultivate growth and nurtures development to change lives.
The B.O.L.D. staff is driven to connect program members with opportunities that allow them to experience an individual and group process, ethical behavior, leadership, volunteerism and responsibilities that enhance social and community cultures.
The B.O.L.D. program’s members are guided and encouraged to achieve their educational and career goals.
The B.O.L.D. program places a tremendous focus on renewing the whole person by requiring mandatory participation in activities centered on educational fulfillment, employability skills, career exploration, community resource assistance and development, life skills, financial literacy, healthcare management and character enhancement.
Program Goals and Objectives
Since studies have shown that African American males between the ages of 16-24 are in the highest risk category, the focus of B.O.L.D is to implement comprehensive "re-entry" activities that address the full range of challenges involved in helping young at-risk males make a successful transition into the community.
Our goal is to help these young men become productive, responsible, and law-abiding citizens by:
- providing educational opportunities
- implementing employability skills training
- providing substance abuse counseling
- addressing mental health needs
- encouraging the establishment of a stable living environment
To be considered as a B.O.L.D. member, each applicant must agree to dedicate themselves to a 2-year commitment to participate in all activities of the B.O.L.D. program, as outlined in their Individual Case Plan. In addition to this commitment, B.O.L.D. candidates must have some of these factors:
- Be convicted of multiple misdemeanor crimes or a felony (no sexual offenders/predators or murderers are eligible for B.O.L.D. membership).
- Be 16-24 years of age
- Be residents of Alachua County at the time of their arrest; or recently re-located
- Be an ex-offender recently released from the Alachua County jail, Department of Corrections or Department of Juvenile Justice
- Be a person with multiple risk factors, such as--
- Come from a single parent or dysfunctional home
- Have low academic achievement; did not complete high school
- Be associated with negative, aggressive or delinquent peers
- Have low community attachment, high crime or availability of drugs
For more information on the BOLD Program, contact
BOLD Program Office
1019 NW 5th Avenue