Reengagement in Tucson

Tucson’s Youth on the Rise serves as the city’s first re-engagement center aimed at assisting 15,000 local youth not involved in either school or work.

Youth on the Rise (YOTR), the opportunity youth change network, has committed to amplifying youth voice, using data, and leveraging existing resources to provide opportunity youth quality education and career pathways that lead to economic and social stability. YOTR utilizes a cross sector collaborative with over 25 partners in Pima County to reengage the more than 25,000 opportunity youth in our community.

One of YOTR’s strategies to reengage opportunity youth involved the creation of the city’s first Re-Engagement Center (REC) in July of 2016. Located on the Tucson Urban League Campus, the REC provides a safe place for opportunity youth to receive ongoing support from a caring coach who connects them to educational, career and support services and helps youth stay re-engaged.

 “None of them wanted to drop out, they felt they had no other choice, there was no other option they could see because life had just gotten a little too crazy… It will keep being crazy for a while after you connect them. That’s why we need to have re-engagement centers with lots of caring supportive adults around them and peers who have been through it themselves.”

 – Amanda Kucich, Senior Director of Cradle to Career Partnership for United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona

Promising Practices

  • The REC works in strong partnership with the Joint Technical Education District (JTED) of Pima County to offer a summer internship opportunity called Opportunity SkillUP in which REC- enrolled youth may increase their employability skills, refine a career pathway plan and end the program with three to four new technical job skills.
  • The REC has a culinary skills program on site, at which youth receive culinary skills training while also receiving the ServSafe Food Handler Certificate.


2015-2016 Activity

  • The REC relocated to a new oversight agency, Pima Prevention Partnership and hosted a Community Wide event highlighting the work.
  • The REC enrolled and engaged 43 youth, 25 with educational goals, 17 with career related goals and 4 with support service related goals.