After six years of widespread success and a national award from the Department of Justice, the recipe for YIN’s success will be spread globally when Hyde speaks at a conference of world peace experts at The Hague in the Netherlands.
“I think it is an honor and privilege that represents the work of many people in Antioch,” Hyde said. “I’m just representing their work from the government side, the community side and the families that were involved.”
Hyde was one of four presenters invited by the United Nations mandated University of Peace, which is opening a new center at the Peace Palace. He will speak during the urban peace and security portion of the event. Since 1980, the university has developed master’s degree programs in peace building and conflict studies as well as shorter-term courses and training for students and professionals from around the world.
Since 2007, YIN has helped intervene in the lives of 90 at-risk youth and 50 families besieged by violence, crime and truancy. Their work on the program earned Hyde and Iris Archuleta Antioch’s Co-Citizens of the Year honors in 2010.
The families assisted by the program have seen a 92-percent reduction in police calls for service, an 83-percent reduction of truancy and an improvement in student GPA by an average of two grade points.
“I am most proud that we have fundamentally changed the way people do things in Antioch,” Archuleta said. “In Antioch, our leaders are so accustomed to working collaboratively that we don’t accept people coming in here and just doing their thing.”
The Archuletas felt the need to develop YIN after moving to Antioch in 1999 and recognizing the need for a stabilizing force to help organizations tasked with youth intervention.
The couple has owned Emerald Consulting, which helps improve the lives of people, create healthy organizations and build sustainable communities since 1992.
YIN’s approach to rebuilding the lives of at-risk students and families began with science and research. In 2008, research derived from a mirror image database of grades, test scores, discipline attendance and socio-economic status of 8,000 Antioch youth revealed that truancy and student disengagement were the top two indicators of youth likely to commit or become victims of violence.
“We set out to do something that had never been done before,” Archuleta said. “We had a vision and knew we were going to do something that was going to inform the way people did things in other cities and across the county. We needed to do something about our city’s self esteem.”
Once family members are willing to enter the program, they meet weekly for three to six months with youth and adult volunteers trained in conflict management and sustainable community collaboration methods that the Archuletas devised.
During the meetings, family members identify issues of conflict within the home, identify solutions and enter into a partnership contract with the network, which helps them execute a recovery plan.
Families are later paired with a family and education advocate, who aims to help them work with school and other community agencies to get family members working together and the student back on track academically.
Nobody understands the power of YIN like Kiki Saunders. The aspiring doctor was struggling with his grades at Antioch High School when he was pulled out of class and approached about entering the YIN program.
Since then, Saunders has earned his high school diploma and is one week away from becoming a medical assistant by way of Carrington College. He said YIN was instrumental in helping him find newfound academic success.
“I didn’t think I was going to get as far as I did,” Saunders said. “They help you follow your dreams.”
YIN usually works with about 40 families a year, and collects data from them to assess their progress. “They did the work; we just designed the model,” Hyde said. “We are really proud of the families. It was really on their shoulders to perform.”