AXIOS, a Greek term meaning “to have value or be worthy,” captures the outcome we desire for all AXIOS Mentor Program participants. RAP’s vision is one in which caring adults identify children and youths’ needs, provide them with the tailor-made individualized tools, services and programs they need to create positive lives. As one of those tools, the AXIOS Program provides youth experiencing racial trauma with healing and trauma reducing activities. We believe that when you change a child’s life with positive reinforcements, you strengthen the family, which makes a healthy community and changes the world!
In RAP-AXIOS’ growth environment, the effects of trauma, particularly racial trauma, are reduced and negative behaviors are replaced with positive attitudes about their self-identity and their own ability to succeed. Working to educate staff and reinforcements from a supportive community our youth will be healed and liberated to be the successful scholars they are destined to become. In these environments, youths develop the capacity for socio-emotional growth, emotional intelligence, self-regulation, and positive self-identity. Adults learn to use and demonstrate cultural competence and interact with children and adults in culturally responsive ways.
Success begins with effective liberating sharing in restorative group circles. R.A.P.’s understanding of how racial trauma, equity, and social justice issues impact the school and community environment are mainstays of the RAP/AXIOS’ program and is offered during school and after school in its implementation. R.A.P.’s strategy has positive impacts the school culture and climate by facilitating ongoing school staff training on racism, and bias, and racial equity.
This is a select group of youth where activities allow our youth to have a voice in selected arenas within the school and community. They set up meetings with city council, police department, school officials and administrators. We have found that the youth today want to be heard and through this activity they find their voice and strength and confidence that they can succeed and are not relegated to the stereotypes and social and racial barriers that others try to put upon them.
What Success Will Look Like for the AXIOS Speak Out. The Program entails training educators to attain a systems acknowledgement and understanding of race as a contributing factor to disparate achievement gaps and outcomes. Success includes assisting schools in creating a narrative and policy that reflects the positive aspects of culture, learning, and teaching and developing an “equity lens” for school staff and administration in making their educational, school discipline and policy decisions. Success involves mentor specialists assisting students and the school in implementing restorative processes in lieu of punitive responses to youths’ problems. In partnership the AXIOS Speak Out team utilizes opportunities to directly impact school policies with informed input to school leaders, students, staff and community, especially utilizing WRAP radio as a outlet to share their voice.