Connecting Youth to Mentors with Lived Experience

November 1, 2021
David Lujano and Honey-Jo Herman

David Lujano and Honey-Jo Herman of Re-Set Consultation and Facilitation

Connecting youth to as many resources as possible and finding mentoring supports with lived experiences is critical to maintaining engagement with the developing minds of our residents in Juvenile Rehabilitation (JR). It also aligns with DCYF’s Strategic and Racial Equity Plan to create successful transitions to adulthood. David Lujano, owner of Re-Set Consultation and Facilitation, plays an important role as a supportive mentor to the young adults in JR’s care.

For more than two years, David has facilitated transformational mentoring groups for residents at Green Hill School (GHS). David’s personal journey through the legal system influences his work, and he openly shares about his lived experience as part of his curriculum. Initially, he provided individual mentoring to young adults and then he expanded to group mentoring. Currently, David facilitates two separate Re-Set groups every week with the support of his associate, Honey-Jo Herman. Centering on cultural relevancy and lived experience, these groups meet weekly to work on values awareness, strengthening supports, and examining choices.

Through their incredible dedication, David and Honey-Jo are integral in mitigating gang violence on the GHS campus. They have also supported the transition of several young people reentering the community or being transferred to community facilities, connecting them with community-based supports.

In April 2021, Woodinville Community Facility (WCF) brought David and Honey-Jo on board to start a Re-Set group for their residents. After David shared his story with the young men, every WCF resident was in full attendance at the weekly group meetings for a month straight. David is currently adapting his curriculum to combine traditional components with new tactics. His goal is to engage older young adults at WCF who are experiencing similar successes and struggles in the community and as they prepare for release.

“We are fortunate to have developed such a strong community partnership with David and Honey-Jo,” said WCF Administrator Jeremy Ludwig. “We are just getting started and excited to watch this group grow!”