Youth Advisor, Direct Care (Footprints)

February 2024 to Present

As a Youth Advisor for the Footprints Residential Program through Peckham, I provide direct care to court-involved, at-risk female youth.

About the Company

Peckham, Inc., a nonprofit vocational rehabilitation organization, provides job training opportunities for persons with significant disabilities and other barriers to employment. Peckham provides people with physical, cognitive, behavioral and socio-economic challenges, a platform to demonstrate their ability, learn new skills, participate in work and enjoy the rewards of their success. Peckham provides opportunities so clients can experience meaningful employment growth.

Named #11 on Fortune Magazine's Great Place to Work list, Peckham is a national award-winning organization, recognized for its achievement in providing exceptional vocational rehabilitation, creating inclusive cultures and building a quality workplace for employees.

Click the title to visit their website.

Highlighted Skills

Attention to Detail, Behavior Modification, Conflict Management, Conflict/Issue Resolution, Decision Making, Documentation and Recordkeeping, Mentoring, Multitasking and Prioritization, Problem-Solving, Team Training

About the Footprints Residential Program:

Peckham provides vocational training and transitional skills coaching to youth with barriers to employment. Peckham’s youth programs deliver evidence-based vocational programming and skill building to support youth with disabilities, court-involved youth, and/or youth-at-risk of juvenile court involvement.

Footprints is a unique, community-based, short-term, residential treatment facility providing court-involved, adolescent females with rehabilitative and family reunification services. Adolescent girls between the ages of 12-17 are referred to the program through the 30th Judicial Circuit Court. Residents at Footprints have the opportunity to gain new skills and strategies to cope with difficult situations.

This is accomplished by providing high-quality, evidence-based treatment groups supported by the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy model. Residents at Footprints are supported and cared for by a team of well-trained, professional staff. The average length of stay for a resident is six months. Peckham is excited to help unleash each resident’s full potential for success.

Participants are referred to this program by the court. Footprints strictly adheres to the most reliable research to develop the most effective programming.

Learn more about the Footprints Residential Program

About My Role:

Under the supervision of the Juvenile Services Manager, the Youth Advisor position is responsible for the direct care of the female at-risk youth entrusted to Peckham.

As a Youth Advisor for the Footprints Residential Program through Peckham, my role revolves around providing direct care to court-involved, at-risk female youth under the guidance of the Juvenile Services Manager. I create a safe and nurturing team environment, participating in the development and implementation of individual treatment plans while attending to the personal, health, and behavioral needs of the adolescents. From crisis intervention to assisting with homework, cooking, and engaging in recreational activities, my duties encompass a wide range of responsibilities aimed at fostering holistic growth. Moreover, I serve as a positive role model both within and outside the facility, teaching essential daily living skills and maintaining meticulous recordkeeping. With certifications in First Aid, CPR, and Restraint, along with competencies in conflict management, effective communication, and decision-making, I am equipped to navigate the challenges inherent in this vital role. Through a collaborative approach and unwavering commitment, I strive to make a meaningful impact on the lives of the youth entrusted to our care.


  • Participate in the development, implementation, and documentation of each adolescent’s treatment plan
  • Attend to the personal, health, and behavioral needs of the adolescents
  • Crisis intervention
  • Participation in clinical consultation and treatment conferences
  • Be a positive role model for children (in and out of the facility)
  • Teach daily living skills including light housekeeping, cooking, and participating with residents in their community activities and recreational activities.
  • Provide a safe and caring environment.
  • Maintain recordkeeping and documents.
  • Utilize a teamwork approach for all projects.

Certificates, Licenses, Registrations:

  • First Aid
  • CPR
  • Restraint
  • Other training as assigned

Personal Reflection

Getting a job as a Youth Advisor for the Footprints Residential Program through Peckham is an opportunity that just fell into my lap when Briana Solan, the People & Culture Champion at Peckham, reached out to me on LinkedIn about this job.

After reading the job description, I realized that this position aligns perfectly with my passion for guiding young girls toward positive life choices and empowering them to pursue their dreams. I was immediately drawn to the opportunity to make a meaningful impact in the lives of at-risk youth, knowing that I could leverage my experiences as the Women’s Economic Empowerment Outreach Coordinator at the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing to create a bridge of support between these two nonprofit organizations. The prospect of providing mentorship and support to girls transitioning out of the Footprints Program resonated deeply with me, as I recognize the importance of offering resources and guidance to ensure their continued success on a positive life path.

While the Women’s Center focuses primarily on supporting adult women, particularly survivors of domestic violence, I am committed to extending this support network to encompass the at-risk youth girls of the Footprints Residential Program. By advocating for early education on healthy relationships and providing access to essential resources such as therapy and developmental support, I aim to contribute to the holistic well-being of these young girls. Briana’s outreach presented an awesome opportunity for professional growth but also affirmed my belief in the power of mentorship and guidance in shaping brighter futures for the next generation.

Desiree' M. Slaughter

Desiree' M. Slaughter

Creative Professional, Solopreneur, Digital Creator

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