[LASD] – Chief James Lopez awarded diplomas Saturday to 117 teenagers who completed the Sheriff’s Department’s 16-week Vital Intervention and Directional Alternatives (VIDA) Program. The VIDA graduates are from the Altadena, Century, East Los Angeles, Lakewood, Lancaster, South Los Angeles, Palmdale and Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Stations.
In awarding diplomas to the graduates at Belevedere Middle School in East Los Angeles, Chief Lopez stated, “I am extremely proud of these young men and women for displaying the dedication it takes to complete this program.”
VIDA is a cognitive, behavior-based, re-directional program designed for at-risk youth between the ages of 11 and 17½. Overseen by law enforcement personnel, VIDA focuses on several areas, including healthy living, academic and vocational achievement, truancy reduction, increased literacy, workforce preparation, improving parental relationships, and preventing substance abuse.
VIDA works closely with the Probation Department, juvenile courts, various school districts, and a wide range of community-based organizations to increase accountability and provide needed services. The program requires youth to attend 160 hours of various training and educational courses while their parents attend 32 hours of parenting classes. For more information on the VIDA Program, go to www.vida.la.
“It’s about building a strong working partnership among law enforcement, community-based organizations, schools, and families so that these children can have a second chance. It’s about intervention in an effort to break a cycle that has no future,” added Chief Lopez.