Turning back from school drop out. “Attitude coaching” for teenagers"
“Young Opportunity” (JOve OPortunitat, known as JOOP) is a program of the Institut Valencià de la Joventut (IVAJ), that is changing the life of 16 to 21 year old who dropped out of school without getting an upper secundary education degree and now can’t find a job (or won’t even try it).
The problem of Early School Leaving is specially dramatic in Spain but, specifically in the region of Valencia, where the ESL rate, at 20%, doubles the European level.
Thousands of 16 year old kids leave school every year, their self esteem damaged after so many failed exams and with the wounds left by grade retention. Some of them developed confrontational or disruptive behaviours, others just apathetic attitudes. All of them are disoriented, not knowing what to do with their life, not having had the proper orientation or counselling at their schools or lacking the appropriate support from their families.
The JOOP program gets them in groups of 12 kids and gives them a coach: a person who helps them see that they can “get rid of labels” and start building a new “life project”. And then, a “professional project”, the first step of which will be going back to school: to vocational education and training, in order to get a recognized qualification.
The intervention lasts six months and combines attitude coaching (self esteem and character building, acceptance of responsibilities, health counselling, social skills, time and budget managing…) with vocational orientation, including visits to 20 companies from different economical sectors, where professionals with diverse qualifications will show them their work. In one of those visits the JOOP participant will find his/her true vocation and that will constitute the goal to aim and create the motivational fuel they previously lacked.
The JOOP program will also include typical school subjects (Math, English, Science, History…), to help the young person pass the test that in Spain allow the entrance into vocational education.
The program started in January 2017, with the financial support of the European Social Fund, under the Youth Employment Operational Programme, and will continue until 2023.
Written by Eurodesk Qualified Multiplier, Valencia