The Youth Corps of America, Inc. mentoring program started in South Tucson in 2003. Our vision was to provide youth an opportunity to meet with mature adults who cared about their success. Our mentoring program started with a vision and through hard work and dedication has become reality. We believe that by working together with like-minded individuals, much can be accomplished. By understanding participant needs and issues, we were able to build resiliency skills and leadership opportunities into the mentoring process. We offer both group and one on one mentoring. Our mentoring program includes professional mixed martial artists of whom the hard corps youth respect and look up to. We spend time learning our mentee and discovering what they enjoy most out of life. Then, we offer, friendship, advice, and activities that are both fun and educational. We offer unique activities such as rock climbing, camping, fishing, hiking, and tours to universities and sporting events. In addition, we provide homework help, resume writing, job skills, and mock interviews. We also concentrate on healthy relationships and conflict resolution skills.

Mentoring Matters
Fundamental to the successful outcomes at Old School Gym (OSG) is the reliance on mentoring. In addition to personalized coaching by a certified OSG staff member of every participant, a trained cadre of volunteers accepts the commitment to guide those youths in the development of life skills.

Through the rigors of boxing and martial arts training and the support of our mentors, our young people acquire various aspects of resiliency skills... skills that contribute to their making healthy, productive life choices.

Resiliency Skill Building
Resiliency as defined by psychiatrist Steven Wolin, MD, has the capacity to allow an individual to rise above adversity and forge lasting strengths in one’s personal struggle. It is the means by which children who grew up in troubled families navigated through difficult times and emerged strong, healthy, capable adults. It is not about magically escaping harm. It is about the art of living.

Built into the training and mentoring programs at OSG are the following resiliency skills:

  • Insight - asking tough questions and providing honest answers.
  • Independence - distancing emotionally and physically from the source of trouble in one’s life.
  • Relationships - making fulfilling connections to other people.
  • Initiative - taking charge of problems.
  • Creativity - using imagination and expressing oneself in art forms.
  • Humor - finding the comic in the tragic.
  • Morality - acting on the basis of an informed conscience.

Taking different forms in children, adolescents, and adults, these seven resiliencies develop throughout our training and mentoring programs.