CASST, Inc. (Creating Alternative Support Services Together) is an informal organization and was founded by Fatimah Lane. Through volunteering experiences at the Philadelphia Youth Study Center, under the auspices of the National Congress of Black Women, Lane really saw a need for a program like CASST. Our date of inception was September 10, 2002. Please find below information about our organization including our mission and vision.
CASST, Inc. is a youth (ages 12-24) mentoring program established to bestow confidence and self-assurance in those who are experiencing incarceration in the Philadelphia Juvenile Justice System. CASST, Inc. targets reducing the recidivism rate through creating a one-on-one relationship between mentors and low to medium at-risk youth females.
CASST, Inc. is a network that serves to strengthen the transition of youth (ages 12-24) in the Philadelphia Juvenile Justice System to life back in the community. We provide mentoring through educational and personal workshops.
CASST, Inc. is committed to bestowing confidence in youth for a promising future. We are dedicated to reducing the instances of recidivism among youth who are currently in the Juvenile Justice System. We strive to develop the full potential in each participant. We encourage, support, and provide resources to ensure their productive re-entry into society.
We hold our sessions at the center on Tuesday evenings from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm. What we look for in our mentors are characteristics of open-mindedness, creativity, honesty, and compassion. Most important of all, you must be outgoing and like having fun!
Our sessions are formatted to be relaxed and informal. We provide a variety of activities for the youth including watching movies, open discussions, book readings, skits, arts & crafts, “girl talk”, speakers/guests, and “freestyle”, our open talent segment where the youth can sing, perform skits, spoken word, or whatever. We also provide some type of snack for each session. It can be anything from pizza, cheeseburgers, hoagies, donuts, etc.. Usually by the end of our sessions, the youth’s spirits are calm and peaceful. Presently we do not receive funding from any outside sources so all of our activities and snacks are funded by CASST team members (usually executive members). We welcome sponsorship and donations.
We never ask the residents why they are in the center. It is not our business to know. Confidentiality is strictly enforced by PYSC administration and staff and by CASST. Our business is to help them to the best of our abilities. There are times when some get comfortable enough around you to where they may want to share those intimate details about themselves and in that situation you are asked to keep it to yourself. Whatever you hear in our sessions stays in our sessions. That is so important.
We also generate a newsletter for the residents. It’s called “The Urban Breeze”. The newsletter is used as an informational resource for the youth to keep them abreast of current issues affecting us around the world and in our very own neighborhoods. One of the sections in our newsletter is titled “Love Thyself” and it promotes sexual health awareness. In addition, our newsletter offers sections of poetry, jokes, and entertainment news. We encourage our participants to submit their writings (poetry, short stories, etc.) to the newsletter. Even though we have a small distribution, when the youth see their work in print, it really makes them feel good and gives them something to be proud of.
If you have any questions, or would like any additional information, please feel free to contact us at 267-242-2525 or online at email@example.com . Thank you for your time and have a blessed day!