New Health & Wellness Training in Juvenile Rehabilitation

October 7, 2021
A person lifting weights.

Young people in DCYF’s residential Juvenile Rehabilitation (JR) facilities now have an opportunity to earn industry-recognized certificates through a new health and wellness training program, Beauty From Ashes.

Beauty From Ashes is a BIPOC and woman-owned business that DCYF partners with to improve professional pathways for young people in care. Instructor Via McGriff, a certified master personal fitness trainer, provides in-person and virtual instruction at Echo Glen Children’s Center and Green Hill School (GHS) as part of a pilot program at both facilities.

DCYF received dedicated funds to provide vocational pathways for the JR to 25 population. Through surveys, the young adults indicated personal fitness training as an industry they wanted to pursue careers in after release. JR leaders listened to this feedback and implemented an industry-recognized certification program. So far, the program has been a tremendous success.

Participants can earn industry-recognized certifications for Personal Trainer, Nutritionist, or Corrective Specialist. They can also earn a certificate in the Leaders Mentorship Program, which focuses on the mental health aspect of health and wellness. This is pivotal for their personal wellbeing, and it’s an important component of being a personal trainer as they guide people to break through and overcome deep insecurities. These certificates are granted by the International Sports Sciences Association and are activated when participants are released.

The program has been so popular, DCYF is now offering a fall class to youth at Naselle Youth Camp in addition to the courses continuing at GHS and Echo Glen.

“We are really trying to improve physical health options on campus to include food and physical activities, and the youth love it,” said GHS Superintendent Jennifer Redman.

Young adults who complete the program can continue earning additional certificates, apply for a work-based learning experience as a fitness teacher’s assistant, and take specialized courses that help them prepare for their careers upon release.