‘Jóvenes con Palabra’

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

By: Ashmar Mandou

Mujeres Latinas en Acción introduced a new program to its curriculum, called Jóvenes con Palabra, a program making many parents in the community happy. “It is the first of its kind here at Mujeres and we know it is a program that was in need,” said Gerald Guevarra, program coordinator for Jóvenes Con Palabra. “All of Mujeres’ programs are rooted in impacting the lives of young girls in our community, but there are not many places for our young boys to turn to, which is why we decided to create around their needs.” Jóvenes Con Palabra is a program that incorporates violence prevention, sexual education, communication, and mentorship. Targeted to teenage boys, participants will meet six days a week, two of those days mothers will be able to participate. The program is free for those interested, but must meet the requirements. For more information, visit www.mujereslatinasenaccion.org.

Joven Noble Curriculum

Jóvenes Con Palabra follows the evidence based Joven Noble (Noble Youth) curriculum which is a youth development, support, and leadership enhancement curriculum designed to strengthen protective factors among male Latino youth ages 10-24 (Jóvenes Con Palabra focuses on Latin boys ages 12-18). The curriculum aims to promote the character development of young men and facilitate continued “rites of passage” development with the goals of reducing and preventing unwanted or unplanned pregnancies, substance abuse, community violence, and relationship violence.

Sexual Education

In addition to the Joven Noble curriculum, the boys in the program receive medically accurate, culturally sensitive sexual education. The curriculum used is the same used at Mujeres throughout programs and is evidence-based. To date, no teen girl in Proyecto Juventud has become pregnant while in the program in the 20+ years the program has been offered; we are expecting the same conscious decisions from the boys.


Participants of Jovenes con Palabra are paired with accomplished Latino mentors from throughout the Chicago area. They are required to meet at least once per month. These individuals come from the same neighborhoods and have faced similar challenges in their lives and were able to overcome hardship to become successful, respected members of their communities. In addition, when youth graduate from the program they will be paired with new participants to become peer mentors.

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