The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a proven and trusted self-development program for youth, and the reach and adaptability of the Award program helps improve the lives of youth from all walks of life around the country. The US Award is committed to making the Award program exciting and beneficial to every youth.
Featuring some of the most prestigious academic institutions in the country to the most troubled schools and neighborhoods imaginable, the US Award is committed to diversifying its outreach. While providing a trusted structure for youth to develop skills and build character, the DofE Award has experienced great success in the development and rehabilitation of at-risk youth.
In the 1980s, HRH The Prince Edward, chairman of the International Award, began to implement the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award program in the “secure estate” or the juvenile justice system in the UK. Before the Award pilot program was implemented, nearly 100 percent of the youth became repeat offenders. However, after the pilot program, an astounding 90 percent of these youth overcame their struggles and were not repeat offenders. In other words, the recidivism rate was a mere 10 percent.
“We’ve actually been opening it up to more young people who perhaps where their lives have gone wrong, where they dropped out of school or got on the wrong side of the law. We’ve picked up their lives and given them a sense of self-worth and confidence, and we’ve put them back on the straight and narrow again.”
– HRH The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex KG GCVO
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award helps instill a rare and much needed sense of belonging within its participants and helps at-risk youth find their way back to the straight and narrow. The Award bears incredible potential for youth development in America. Self-esteem is missing from most kids’ lives today, but the DofE Award helps build their self-confidence and lead them in the right direction.
The US Leadership continually strives to utilize the Award’s potential for the benefit of all youth across the nation, especially our at-risk youth. Executive Director Josh Randle and the US Board are working diligently with the Oakley Youth Development Center outside Jackson, Mississippi, marking the US Award’s first-ever initiative designed specifically for young offenders.
The Oakley Youth Development Center is Mississippi’s primary juvenile justice rehabilitation facility. Most of the young people under Oakley’s care have either committed three (3) or more Misdemeanor offenses or at least one (1) Felony offense. The DofE Award is working closely with Oakley’s key leadership to begin offering the Award program to Oakley’s youth in Fall 2012.