PRESQUE ISLE – Aroostook County Action Program is proud to announce the beginning of the  Breakthrough Youth program in five Maine counties, including Aroostook. BY is a service designed  program to help individuals aged 14-24 acquire the tools needed to succeed into adulthood. Led by  ACAP, in cooperation with Penquis CAP and Downeast Community Partners, the program is available in Aroostook, Hancock, Washington, Penobscot, and Piscataquis counties.

The youth involved in this program will develop a strong sense of community with their fellow  participants as they learn critical skills. The program offers strategies to better their personal health,  safety, resilience, workforce readiness, career success, financial literacy, and economic stability. Through four components carried out over 12 two-hour sessions, youth will work with evidence-based  activities to: build necessary soft skills for employment and workplace leadership, learn financial literacy  skills, explore career opportunities, access prevention services, and become educated on preventing unplanned pregnancies, and STIs. 

“My goal for Breakthrough Youth is to empower young people in Aroostook County to build skills that  will give them a leg up in becoming successful adults, while building a strong sense of community and  having a great time, “ said Brynn Wilcox, ACAP community educator for ACAP.  

The four components of BY are: Money Start – teaches personal finance basics such as opening checking  accounts and apartment budgeting; Soft Skills to Pay the Bills – which uses hands on activities to teach interpersonal skills that improve work performance; Prime for Life – helps youth understand  preventative measures of drug and alcohol related problems; Making Proud Choices – provides information about affirmative consent as well as contraceptive use to prevent unplanned pregnancies and STIs. 

Participants can expect to connect with peers in a relaxed environment. Those who register will also be able to identify a resource to assist them in achieving their career goals up to $100. In Aroostook  County, MSAD 1 Adult and Community Education has a new session in Presque Isle that runs from 5–7 p.m. and starts on Jan. 26. To register, visit msad1.maineadulted.org/classes/ or call ACAP  at 207-764-3721. There is also a session at PI Housing Authority in the Community Room which begins on Feb. 1 from 3–5 p.m. Please email prevention@acap-me.org or call 207-764-3721 for registration. 

For 50 years, Aroostook County Action Program has provided the people of Aroostook County  with services and resources that help individuals and families achieve greater economic  independence. As a leader, or in partnership with others, ACAP provides guidance to the  community in responding to emerging human needs in the areas of community health, early  care and education, energy and housing, and workforce development services. Aroostook  County Action Program continues to accept new clients as well as serve existing clients through  a vast array of programming. To learn more about services available, contact the ACAP Team at 207-764-3721.