The Brave Overt Leaders of Distinction (B.O.L.D.) Program was started in 2010 to provide assistance to young men previously between the ages of 16-24 who needed professional guidance in addressing their life situations and circumstances.
These young men needed community resources or services for the intervention and/or prevention of criminal activity and/or incarceration. Many were unemployed, under-employed and/or under-educated. At that time, many of these young men had dropped out of school, been incarcerated or were homeless.
Now, through persistence and perseverance, the B.O.L.D. program has risen to provide one-of-a-kind holistic services like no other community-based organization designed to work with young men with criminal or background infractions.
The B.O.L.D. program aims to render intensive services, including case management, with life skills and empowerment activities, to enrich the lives of these young men by addressing the development and growth of the whole person—physical, mental, spiritual and educational.
In addition, a variety of community resource specialists and community developmental leaders have committed to invest their wealth of knowledge, skills, and financial sponsorship into the B.O.L.D. program and witness the redemption of these young men. Instead of them returning to lives of gang violence, premature parenting, drug trafficking and incarceration, they have decided to return to school to obtain their high school diplomas or GED’s (graduate equivalency diploma), job training certificates/licenses, college degrees or certificates and/or gainful employment opportunities leading to careers. This allows for the whole person to become engaged in developmental activities that would eventually lead to gainful employment.
B.O.L.D. members also participate in community service projects and neighborhood events, which afford them opportunities to enhance the world around them, gain employability skills and develop an awareness of and practice work ethics.
The B.O.L.D. program drives to create a community-based organization that is rooted in the theory of empowerment by creating learning experiences and providing services that cultivate growth and nurtures development to change lives.
The B.O.L.D. staff is driven to connect program members with opportunities that allow them to experience an individual and group process, ethical behavior, leadership, civic duties and responsibilities that enhance social and community cultures.
The B.O.L.D. program’s members are guided and encouraged to achieve their educational and career goals.
The B.O.L.D. program places a tremendous focus on renewing the whole person by requiring mandatory participation in activities centered on educational fulfillment, employability skills, career exploration, community resource assistance and development, life skills, financial literacy, mental healthcare management and character enhancement.
Program Goals and Objectives
The focus of B.O.L.D is to implement comprehensive "re-entry" and intervention activities that address the full range of challenges involved in helping young adult males between the ages of 18-26 make a successful transition into the community. .
Our goal is to help these young men become productive, responsible, and law-abiding citizens by:
- providing resources for formal educational opportunities
- implementing employability skills training
- providing substance abuse counseling resources
- addressing mental health needs
- encouraging the establishment of a stable living environment
To be considered as a B.O.L.D. member, each applicant must agree to dedicate themselves to a 1-year commitment to participate in all activities of the B.O.L.D. program, as outlined in their Individual Case Plan. In addition to this commitment, B.O.L.D. candidates must have some of these factors:
- No sexual offenders/predators or murderers are eligible for B.O.L.D. membership
- Be 18-26 years of age
- Be residents of Alachua County at the time of their arrest; or recently re-located
- Be an ex-offender recently released from the Alachua County jail, Department of Corrections or Department of Juvenile Justice
- Be a person with multiple risk factors, such as--
- Come from a dysfunctional home
- Have low academic achievement; did not complete high school
- Be associated with negative, aggressive or delinquent peers
- Have low community attachment, high crime or availability of drugs
For more information on the BOLD Program, contact