Pathway to Resilience Launches in Cleveland: Pilot Program Aims to Steer At-risk Youth towards Employment

Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland and Resilience Capital Partners today launched Pathway to Resilience, a groundbreaking skills and training program to provide at-risk teens and young adults with a pathway toward meaningful employment. Launched as a three-year pilot program, Pathway to Resilience will serve at-risk and gang-involved young people aged 17½ and older.

The first pilot program will select two groups of 10 young people to participate in an intensive, six-month career readiness and mentoring program that combines job skills and literacy instruction with extracurricular activities such as athletics and music. After completion of the training program, participants will be eligible for employment with sponsors of the program, which will include large and small Cleveland-area employers.

The program’s launch comes as Cleveland, despite progress, continues to face significant challenges, according to a 2015 whitepaper by Cleveland’s Collaborative on Youth Violence Prevention:

• Cleveland was the second-poorest city in the U.S. in 2014 and has the third-lowest high school graduation rate (34%) among the 50 largest cities in the nation.

• The violent crime rate in Cleveland (1,384 per 100,000 persons) was triple the national average of 403.65.

• During the period 2010-2014, Cleveland saw 4,794 arrests of people aged 15-25 for murder, robbery and felonious assault.

“Pathway to Resilience is what is needed as an interdiction tool that will lead to prevention and reduction of crime,” said Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson. “The key to this program is support from local businesses and corporations partnering with Pathway which will lead to employment and better choices for our youth.”

A Different Approach

The Pathway to Resilience program is based on innovative research on gang intervention conducted by the late Dr. Irving Spergel and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention that showed that the most effective intervention strategies combine policing, mentoring and social services.

In order to qualify for Pathway to Resilience, potential participants will undergo assessment testing designed to gauge the needs and risks of those who wish to

participate in the program. Potential participants will come from among young people currently case-managed by the Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance, a subsidiary of Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland.

“Pathway to Resilience builds on our ongoing programs and will provide Cleveland youth with intensive job skills training that will offer them a pathway towards employment and away from gang activity,” said Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland President and Chief Executive Officer Ron Soeder.

Added Steven H. Rosen, co-chief executive officer of Cleveland-based Resilience Capital Partners, “As Cleveland looks to a bright future, too many of our young people are at risk of being left behind, lacking necessary social and work skills and vulnerable to violence and gang activity. We are proud to support Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland as it builds a pathway to resilience for our city’s youth. Our contribution will be paid off in stronger families and a stronger community.”

“Pathway to Resilience will offer Cleveland’s young people that most precious commodity: Hope for a better future,” said Peter J. Elliott, United States Marshal for the Northern District of Ohio. “Opportunity can break the cycle of despair and violence that has trapped so many in the past.”

Career tracks being considered include the light manufacturing, information technology, construction, healthcare, hospitality and maintenance industries, with the intent that participants could be even be trained to operate their own businesses.

“The best way to defeat poverty is with a good job. Pathway to Resilience will help our young people get on a career path to success,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish.

Noting current conditions in Cleveland, Soeder added that Boys & Girls Clubs recognizes that working with at-risk and gang-involved youth poses challenges. He said some of the young adults who will participate in Pathway to Resilience have come into contact with the juvenile justice system; may need intensive academic support in order to improve their literacy and math skills; and may lack access to professional clothing and dependable transportation.

In order to meet the logistical and lifestyle needs of participants in Pathway to Resilience, the program is seeking to partner with local professional organizations, colleges and transportation providers. Potential corporate partners and sponsors and individual volunteers can email or call 1-216-360-7254 to become involved or pledge their support.

“The characteristic that most reflects the values of Cleveland is resilience. We understand the role that resilience plays in changing lives and transforming communities, and we are glad to play a role in sponsoring Pathway to Resilience, a vital new initiative that brings that quality to Cleveland’s young people,” said Bassem A. Mansour, co-chief executive officer of Resilience Capital Partners.

Additional support for Pathway to Resilience is being provided by the Cleveland Foundation, James Vaughn, III and Cintas.

About Resilience Capital Partners 

Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Resilience invests in niche-oriented manufacturing, value added distribution and business service companies with sustainable market positions and a clear path to cash flow improvement. Resilience targets platform businesses with $25 million to $250 million in revenues across a broad range of industries where it can improve a company’s operations, competitive positioning and profitability. Resilience manages in excess of $625 million for its global investor base which includes pension funds, insurance companies, foundations and endowments, fund of funds and family offices. For more information, please visit

About Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland

Founded in 1954, Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland serves more than 8,600 youth annually at 15 locations in Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, East Cleveland and Garfield Heights. The Clubs provide a safe place for children to learn and grow, to develop ongoing relationships with caring adult professionals, to engage in life-enhancing programs and to create a culture of hope and opportunity. For more information, visit us at