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Roxbury Youthworks provides intensive Life Coaching to victims of commercial sexual exploitation.

The GIFT Program (Gaining Independence for Tomorrow) addresses one of the most disturbing issues facing young people today: commercial sexual exploitation. Contracted through the Department of Children and Families (DCF), GIFT serves girls that had been victimized. Most of these youth have been "pimped out" by numerous adults and/or arrested for their acts. Life Coaches at GIFT help the youth in their recovery from commercial sexual exploitation and connect them with resources that assist them in achieving their life goals. While GIFT is a relatively new program (it started in July 2008), RYI has a significant history of providing services to and advocating for sexually exploited youth. In 1998, RYI founded "A Way Back" the only street outreach program designed to encourage and support young women that wanted to leave "The Life" and end their exploitation.

Please watch an excerpt from the movie, “Very Young Girls,” to learn more about the commercial sexual exploitation of young women.

The Life Coaches who work for Roxbury Youthworks provide prevention, intervention, support, stabilization, advocacy, and therapeutic services for young males, females, and/or transgender youth between the ages of 12-21.

These youths have been identified as:

  • at risk of becoming involved
  • involved or in recovery from sexual exploitation

Life Coaches are individuals who can appropriately redirect youth in a positive direction drawing upon their own professional, educational, and personal life experiences. Development of strong trusting relationships is critical. A non-judgmental approach has been designed to accept youth wherever they are on the continuum of sexual exploitation will be employed by each Life Coach. These staffers are utilized to help youth build and sustain positive connections and relationships that will help support and stabilize them while preparing for the future. Life Coaches are seen as the glue that may hold together the often-fragile connection between the youth and the vital services they need to succeed.