Teaching Employment Enhancement Necessary for Success, Inc. (T.E.E.N.S) is a Vocational Agriculture non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides training and mentoring for at-risk youth and individuals with disabilities in the local area and throughout the Shenandoah Valley. The primary objective of the program is to prepare students to enter the workforce better equipped to obtain and maintain gainful employment.

In addition to the vocational training and mentoring services, T.E.E.N.S Inc. promotes, models and engages participants through events, programs, and activities that facilitate a culture and mindset of “giving back” to our community. On-the-job training is provided as a component of the vocational training program, with many of the projects geared towards providing community service to other non-profit or community organizations, the elderly, and/or individuals with a disability. In addition to providing community service, T.E.E.N.S. Inc. donates a portion of all harvested crops to local non-profits, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters.

Vocational Mentoring:
A community-based program that provides an integrated approach to career development, vocational training or apprenticeship, and academic achievement. While teaching vocational agriculture skills, green industry methodologies, and important job readiness skills with an overall program goal of fostering the skillset (hard and soft skills) required for participants to obtain and maintain gainful employment.

Individual Mentoring:
Mentoring includes supporting, coaching, and training participants in age-appropriate behaviors, interpersonal communication, problem-solving and conflict resolution, and relating appropriately to other children and adolescents’, as well as adults, in recreational, community, school, and social activities. These services are provided to help ensure the participant’s success in navigating various social contexts, learning new skills and making functional progress. Mentors offers supervision of these interactions and engages the participants in discussions about strategies for effective handling of peer interactions. Mentoring services are provided in one-on-one, group, community, home, and school settings.

Independent Living Skills (ILS):
Designed to help people with mental disabilities, mental health conditions or chronic illnesses to gain independence. Casey Life Skills which consist of managing health care, financial management, accessing transportation, social skills, safety skills, meal planning and nutrition, job readiness, finding and maintaining living quarters, organization, communication, and interpersonal development are taught, modeled, and discussed through one-on-one, group, and community sessions to assist participants in garnering the skills needed to function independently.

Anger Management:
Groups facilitated by T.E.E.N.S. Inc. staff member(s) for one hour per week over an eight-week period to assist participants in decreasing anger and reducing the emotional and physical arousal that anger can cause. The Anger Management curriculum will provide participants a safe and supportive space in which they can begin to learn ways to manage anger, identify triggers, and replace violent tendencies through coping strategies and self-control techniques demonstrated through group discussions, activities, modeling, homework assignments and therapeutic intervention strategies (impulse control, meditation, breathing and relaxation techniques, and frustration management). The overall goal of the program is for participants to learn to control reactions and respond in a socially appropriate manner in the home, school, vocational, and community environment by identifying triggers and utilizing healthy ways to express anger and frustration.

Summer Day Camp:
An eight-week structured training program which provides a combination of T.E.E.N.S. Inc. program services—vocational and individual mentoring, independent living skills training, and anger management group sessions. Participants will also encounter regular opportunities to give back to the community through volunteer work, projects, and events. Participants engage in activities over the course of the program that promote team building skills, increase and model positive social interactions, foster and build healthy relationships, and enhance job readiness and independent living skills.

Parent/Caretaker Education:
Interactive and customizable one-on-one and family sessions facilitated by T.E.E.N.S. Inc. staff member(s) for one hour, twice per week over an eight-week period with the parent/caretaker and participant. One session per week will be dedicated to providing a one-on-one session with the parent/caretaker while the second session will focus on the entire family unit (parent/caretaker, participant, siblings, etc.). Parent/caretaker sessions will focus on enhancing parenting practices and behaviors, such as developing and practicing positive discipline techniques, learning age-appropriate child development skills and milestones, promoting positive play and interaction between parents and children, increasing positive communication, developing healthy interactions and setting healthy boundaries, and locating and accessing community services and supports. The family sessions will focus on modeling and reinforcing positive communication, self-expression, and techniques discussed during the one-on-one sessions.