Envisioning communities where youth make choices that strengthen their lives, their families, and their world.
Strengthening communities through innovative, family-focused strategies that connect youth to opportunities for positive choices.
Mark Shriver, son of Sargent and Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founded The Choice Intensive Advocacy Program in 1987 as part of the Children and Adolescent Health Advocacy Project (CAHAP) in Baltimore City. Shriver saw Choice as a response to the alarming disproportionate confinement of minority youth across Baltimore. Shriver designed Choice to provide a community and home-based alternative to locking up adolescents.
Although preventing disproportionate minority confinement continues to be an issue on the forefront of Choice’s interventions, we have since expanded to include a variety of different program services to better meet the needs of young people, whether system-involved or not. These include school-based initiatives, job-training and foster care diversion.
The Choice Program has been successfully replicated in San Diego, California, Hartford, Connecticut, Syracuse, New York, Providence, Rhode Island, and Wilmington, Delaware.