Since 2005, Monroe Harding’s Youth Connections Resource Center (YC) has provided services for teens and young adults (ages 16-26) who are currently in or have aged out of state custody and other vulnerable young adults who are neither enrolled in school nor participating in the labor market. They have typically lived in poverty, without adequate economic resources or sufficient support from their families and communities.
YC is a drop-in center located in downtown Nashville and one of four designated community resource centers for current and former foster youth in the state of TN. For 14 years, YC has offered employment preparedness and career development, secondary and post-secondary education support, financial education and matched savings program, basic needs assistance, and various life skills classes including sexual health education.
Learn more about the programs and services provided at Youth Connections:
Works Wonders is a research-based, Harvard University award-winning career development program. The E2 curriculum emphasizes employment soft skills which are the relational competencies that are essential to obtaining and maintaining employment. The program includes 10-12 hours of classroom instruction for each participant as member of a peer learning cohort. Following the completion of the group classes, each participant receives twelve weeks of individualized career coaching with to help empower clients to participate in work-related learning experiences, including mock job interviews, visits to business or industry sites, job shadowing opportunities and interviews with people employed in fields of interest to them. Participants are assisted in preparing individualized employment portfolios that consist of resumes, cover letters and vocational aptitude/interest inventory results to use in the pursuit of their vocational goals. Finally, participants are placed in paid employment activities, such as part- or full-time employment or internships for a period of four weeks.
SHE (Sexual Health Education) is one-time training for young adults who identify as female. Each SHE class is four hours in length and teaches young women to practice safe sex. The goal of SHE is to teach young women to make informed decisions about sexuality and intimacy, decreasing the likelihood that they will contract STDs or experience unintended pregnancies and provides opportunities for females to ask questions about sexuality, discuss relationship and intimacy issues, and learn about their reproductive health options in a safe, respectful, open, non- judgmental atmosphere.
Journey to Manhood is a relationship and sexual health program for young adults who identify as male. The program uses a 7-module curriculum that takes approximately seven months to complete where young men learn about their changing bodies, human sexual development, reproductive health options, STD prevention, etc. Journey to Manhood goes beyond sex education, however, to provide young men with opportunities to discuss topics such as consent in sexual relationships, domestic violence, societal expectations of men, definitions of masculinity, stereotypical male gender roles, power dynamics in relationships and healthy expression of emotions.
Opportunity Passport is a unique matched-savings program that helps young people build savings accounts and purchase financial assets while completing classes on fiscal responsibility. In partnership with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Opportunity Passport prepares young adults to manage their personal finances effectively, use credit responsibly, increase their financial capability, and build assets for successful futures. When clients are ready to purchase assets, MH can provide matches for up to $3,000 in funds saved by OP participants.
Educational Support is offered for adolescents and young adults that includes HiSet preparation, Penn Foster on-line high school, and assistance with applying for/accessing higher/post-secondary education. MH employs a professional educator/licensed teacher who assists clients in pursuing their educational goals.
If you are a provider or a young person who is interested in our programs, please complete this form:
Youth Connections, Monroe Harding
McKendree United Methodist Church, Third Floor
523 Church Street
Nashville, TN 37219
For more information about Youth Connections, request information on the Contact page.