Created in 1997, Youth Odyssey is a non-profit 501 (C) (3) organization in Corpus Christi, Texas driven to address the rising tide of juvenile crime and violence. Youth Odyssey is on a mission to provide at-risk boys and girls with youth development through adventure challenge programming. Since its establishment, Youth Odyssey has provided approximately 5,000 at-risk and disadvantaged youth with life changing opportunities. Programming is designed for male and female, at-risk, disadvantaged teens free of cost to their families.
Youth Odyssey’s Adventure Challenge Programs provide strategic methods that involve at-risk teens in physical outdoor activities, which promote the personal growth and development necessary to effect changes in antisocial juveniles. At-risk youth face daily challenges that depend upon their ability: to set and achieve goals; cope with defeat; communicate with peers, family, and community agents; make decisions; and solve problems. Youth Odyssey contributes to this youth development through Ropes Course challenges and Adventure Wilderness Trips. “Adventure Challenges can foster the personal attributes and conditions that youth need to succeed.” (Austin, Gregory, Ph.D., Beyond Prevention Curricula-A Guide to Developing Alternative Activities and Programs)
Our program strives to reverse this adverse behavior through adventure challenges instead of punishment as a deterrent to gangs, drugs, and other anti-social behavior. The adventure challenges that we provide are designed to allow children to make a direct physical, mental, and emotional connection between theses activities and learning how to navigate through their own lives. Programs provide values, support, and the competencies youth need so they may believe in their own future. We show youth they can be someone and do something with their lives other than succumb to their environment and circumstances. The report on “Youth Development and Resiliency Research” for The Center for Youth Development finds, “The problem confronting most communities is more than an inadequate base of youth services. It is an inadequate vision of what young people need and what they can achieve.”
As a result, their feelings of inadequacy and despair are often redirected into hope, vision, resiliency, and positive self-esteem. Youth Odyssey also focuses on providing mentorship opportunities for volunteers and collaboration with youth agencies.