Low-income teens with sickle cell disease, an incurable genetic disorder predominantly affecting African Americans and Latinos, are among the most vulnerable youth living in urban centers. Due to long hospital stays, teens with sickle cell disease often miss weeks of school, compromising academic achievement, disrupting social networks, and causing isolation.
We offer a program that includes afterschool workshops that helps teens overcome these issues through intensive one on one academic tutoring, mentoring, peer support, disease management education and medical self-advocacy training programs.
Teens are paired with college students who provide individualized support and guidance through weekly group sessions and hospital visits. Most Next Step youth living with sickle cell disease participate for the duration of their high school career, building meaningful and long-lasting relationships with their mentors.
The goal is to help teens manage their condition effectively so that they can successfully finish high school and realize their full potential.
Youth living with sickle cell disease, ages 16-24, are also invited to join us for a free week-long youth leadership conference held each year in July.
If you are a young person living with sickle cell disease who is interested in participating in this program at Next Step or if you know a young person who may be interested in this year-round program, please contact our program director, Kepler Jeudy, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office at 617.864.2921.