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Brighter Horizon

Brighter Horizon is a youth ministry dedicated to transforming the lives of young men confronting legal issues. Brighter Horizon was conceived to provide viable alternatives to juvenile probationers. The philosophical framework of Brighter Horizon promotes the giftedness of each child. Brighter Horizon’s mission is to provide a supportive, learning environment for young men seeking to resolve legal conflict and to support their efforts to pursue a promising future. Brighter Horizon provides a value-based curriculum and the skills and resources to assist these young men to surmount legal, educational, and social barriers.

The core values of Brighter Horizon are transformation - viewing oneself as a productive individual, excellence - surpassing individual expectations, altruism - unselfishly concerned for the welfare of others, and restoration - making contributions to community development. Brighter Horizon was developed in 1996 under the auspices of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. Brighter Horizon is one of five programs comprising Generation Excel, the youth empowerment and family development initiative of Bethel AME Church. Generation Excel programs include: Do the Write Thing, a partnership with The Boston Streetworker Program, the Fatherhood Program, and Parkside Christian Basketball League. Potential participants for Brighter Horizon are males between 11 - 17 years old, who are first and second time offenders, with a probationary status between 9 - 12 months. They are referred to the 12-month program and its value-based curriculum by District Courts.

Brighter Horizon incorporates a two-phase approach into its curriculum. Five strands of engagement comprise Phase One: court advocacy, tutoring and group discussions, mentoring training, and educational and cultural explorations. Bethel AME Church underwrites programmatic expenses including: American Red Cross training in Community First Aid and Community CPR, a monthly stipend and one-year membership to the YMCA for every participant. Guest presenters, including physicians and graduate students, deliver messages on teenage sexuality, peer pressure, manhood, education, and topics which address the complex issues which young people confront. Graduates of Phase One are invited to enter Phase Two of the program and assume the responsibilities of peer leaders. Peer leaders assist new recruits through Phase One and participate in a community service project.

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