Ophelia Programs

RAPS After School Program
video

What is RAPS?

In 1998, a psychology professor from Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, a caring guidance
counselor from an inner city middle school, and staff members from The Ophelia Project
collaborated to create the Relationships Are Pathways to Success (RAPS) mentoring program.

The primary focus of RAPS is building healthy relationships. Icebreakers, group bonding
exercises, individual activities and mentor–mentee one-on-one time help to teach important
lessons about healthy relationships, and serve as the foundation for a successful program.

“I cannot believe that they went through the same things I am going
through.” ~Sixth grader in Lansing, NY

It’s All about the Relationship

Ultimately, the RAPS sessions were all about the bonds between the mentors and the mentees.
As mentioned before, many of RAPS’ participants were at-risk youth who might never have
experienced a truly healthy relationship or even know what that looked like. RAPS was a chance
for them to experience what a safe social climate felt like; one that had consistency, structure,
and respect for everybody involved. And really, that is what The Ophelia Project is all about.
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Erie Youth Ambassadors

What do Ambassadors do?

  • Present programs on relational aggression in schools and communities.
  • Learn the art of role playing, speaking, telling stories and speaking.
  • Work on a team wherever there is a need or a request.

Why become a Youth Ambassador?

  • Change a younger student’s life
  • Positively impact your community
  • Develop valuable life skills
  • Enhance communication skills
  • Become a leader
  • Make a change within yourself and your school

What is Expected from a Youth Ambassador?

  • A strong desire to serve others
  • Attendance at trainings and group meetings
  • Commitment to being a role model for others in the home, school, and community.
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Creating a Safe School
Through Peer Relationships


We believe that developing student leaders who act as role
models and mentors to younger students creates the most
effective agents of change in school social culture. If these
student leaders do not have the backing and structure from
adults, their efforts will fail; together, however, with caring
adults and student leaders, they will not fail. CASS will not fail.
The school will be safe.

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