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Reaching Excellence As Leaders (REAL)

Research has found that processing minor offenders through the juvenile justice system often does more harm than good for a young person’s long-term outcomes. In partnership with Davidson County Juvenile Court, the REAL program provides opportunities for young people to engage in leadership and life skills development as an alternative to detention.

The 8-week experience connects youth with positive adult mentors, helps them reflect on their identity, and engages them in the community so they feel a stronger sense of belonging and purpose. Youth also build skills to deal with the high levels of stress and trauma they face in their everyday lives.

Family engagement is also critical to the program. We engage families in a weekend retreat and sponsor fun activities so that youth and families can spend quality time together and deepen their relationships.

Over 600 youth have successfully completed the REAL program since its inception in 2011. Graduates often return to support other participants and get engaged in other Oasis programs.

This project is funded under a Grant Contract with the State of Tennessee, Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

Program graduates who have not re-offended since completing the REAL Program in 2018
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Volunteer Shifts & Enrollment

School Year

  • M
  • T
  • W
  • Th
  • F

4:30 - 6:30 pm


Summer enrollment for yearlong programming

Who We Need

Volunteers who have experience with youth encountering difficult situations. Volunteers connect with youth and help with program activities during group sessions.

Apply Now