Jewel Delegall is the Chief Program Officer at A Place Called Home (APCH). For 30 years, the organization has empowered underserved youth through programs in education, arts, and well-being. These services are designed to teach them to take ownership of the quality and direction of their lives.
Delegall has served in the role for three years, but she has been with the agency for 12 years.
In 2011, she started out as a dance coordinator. She was in that position for five years, before becoming the Associate Director of Arts and Creative Expression. Delegall was then the Director of the Resident Programs, then the Senior Director of Programs, then finally becoming the Chief Program Officer.
Before APCH, Delegall was a professional dancer for over 20 years. She says her first job was with triple-threat actress, singer and dancer Jasmine Guy. Delegall was working with Guy on a music video, then teaching some dance classes for her when Guy introduced Delegall to A Place Called Home.
According to Delegall, when the kids first arrive at APCH there is an educational and mental assessment of their needs. Then the educational department evaluates if the child is reading up to grade level. They also evaluate their math skills.
From there, a decision is made to talk to their school, or if APCH should be working in tandem with their teachers.
The mental health component of APCH is led by a senior director of Counseling. There are also three additional therapists, and three case managers.
“Their job is to specifically find out what is the need of not just the youth but their family. They’re with us for a couple of hours, but then they go home to their families,” said Delegall.
“What’s so unique about our counseling department, and the way that it’s integrated into our programs is that whenever there are any behavioral needs, our counselors already know the kids and the programs, so some youth will have almost customized weekly schedules.”
This approach allows APCH programs and services to work together.
In addition to their younger children, APCH also services teens and young adults. The group has a higher education program, which is focused on college entry. It also teaches life skills like writing cover letters, and vitas.
APCH’s Professional Readiness and Employment Pathways (PREP) program is for youth who decide college is not an option for them but exposes them to various vocations. PREP teaches work readiness, resume building, interview skills, and life skills.
Delegall says that throughout the year, APCH, on average, services one-thousand youth.
According to the official APCH website, their programs graduate 95% of their seniors, they have provided more than 410 college scholarships for first generation scholars.
They also provide vocational training and paid internships for dozens of teens and young adults each year.
For more information on A Place Called Home, visit https://apch.org.