What Is VIDA?
Established in February 2006 in the City of Santa Clarita, Vital Intervention and Directional Alternatives (VIDA), is an intensive 16-week program designed to assist “at-risk” teens, between the ages of 12 and 17.
In providing the program, the City of Santa Clarita and the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station recognize the importance of offering counseling, family action, community service, physical training, team building, and career guidance to wayward youth in our community. All this is done in an effort to help redirect negative behavior of our youth, who may be tempted to explore gang affiliation, drug use, or crime.
Law enforcement personnel oversee the program and play a major role in the intervention and overall development of the teens. VIDA helps build self-esteem, motivate teens toward success, and aids in breaking the cycle of criminal behavior. For many, successful completion of the program can result in new beginnings, a new outlook, and potentially the establishment of a lifetime of positive influences and contacts. The ultimate goal of the deputies, and others involved, is to work with the youths toward the common goal of establishing a better and brighter future, away from negative influences.
“By putting positive influences around these youth, we can help them realize their self-worth, establish goals and avoid gangs, drugs, crime and negative influences,” said Captain Becker. He added, “We must do our part with our youth, as they are the future of this great community.”
The City of Santa Clarita provides the funding for the program, including the primary deputy who runs it. Grant money from the Federal Government’s Gang Resistance Education and Training Program (GREAT) helps supplement portions of the program by providing funding for additional staff on an as-needed basis. VIDA is a collaborative effort between law enforcement agencies, the City of Santa Clarita, community-based organizations, volunteer United States Marine Corps drill instructors, and other community volunteers.
How Are Teens Selected?
Teens are referred from:
- Juvenile Courts
- Field or School Resource Deputies
- Parents who are struggling to maintain control of their child’s negative behavior and request they be accepted into the program
Other participants are accepted on a case-by-case basis, by filling out the VIDA Interest Application, and attending a registration event.
Deputy Tim Ferrone of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station is now accepting on-line VIDA Interest Application only at this time. The Interest Application can be filled out below. The interest application is not a formal registration. The interested parent or guardian must attend a formal registration, which will take place every Thursday night during the months of January and July. Registration will be held at 28110 N. Wellston Drive, Saugus at 7:00 p.m. – Bouquet Canyon Elementary School. Please fill out and submit an on-line Interest Application below and attend one of the mandatory formal registration meetings in January or July in order to be considered for the next VIDA class. The child does not have to attend the formal registration. The fee for the 16 week program is $75.00, which includes two uniforms, lunches, and any other VIDA activities.
For additional information, or to get involved with “Our Youth – Our Future,” contact Deputy Tim Ferrone of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station at (661) 510-0881 or fill out the VIDA Interest Application below.
There are seven basic components to the VIDA program. Each is designed and structured to identify the negative influences that have resulted in the teen’s referral to the program and to help place the teen on the road to success.
- Intake Night
- Counseling and Family Action
- Community Service
- Physical training
- Life Skills Workshops
- Career Guidance
Pre–Intake: Detailed discussion of parental responsibility; past, present and future activities of the juvenile; and expectations for successful completion of the program.
Intake Night: Counselors and deputies discuss the harsh reality of incarceration with participants and their parents. This session is informative, emotional, and impactful.
Counseling and Family Action: Ongoing counseling services are provided to the teen and family members throughout the duration of the program.
Community Service: Teens are required to perform 32 hours of community service. “Giving back” is an important part of the program.
Physical Training: Teens are required to perform various physical training tasks, including: sit-ups, push-ups, and light jogging. These activities build self-discipline and teamwork.
Life Skills Workshops: Life skills classes help teens develop their basic personal, social, and academic skills, with the goal of helping them become productive members of society.
Drill: Teens are taught and per from close order marching.
Competitive Games: Teens compete with other VIDA program participants throughout the county to test their skills in drill, physical training, and knowledge of VIDA history.
Graduation: A formal ceremony, where all county participants are recognized for successful completion of the program.
Mandatory Class Schedule For The 16 Week Program
Every Wednesday — 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Class participant only)
Every Thursday — 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (Class participant and parent or legal guardian)
Every Saturday — 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (Class participant only)
VIDA – Vital Intervention & Directional Alternatives
For further information contact:
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station
23740 Magic Mountain Parkway
Santa Clarita, CA 91355
Please note that each participant in the VIDA program must complete a general medical physical examination performed by a licensed physician prior to start of the program. The physician’s form found at the following link should be printed and signed by the examining physician or their representative and submitted to the VIDA staff before the first class begins: VIDA Statement of Health for Minor – Examining Physician form