Are you successful? How can we measure success? Today on our podcast, we launch Part 2 of a two-episode special where we look at success from a different angle.
Recently, David visited a program called GOSO, Getting Out And Staying Out, to discuss what it means to “measure” success and how we can think differently about it. GOSO is an organization that empowers and assists young men who have been involved with the criminal justice system. The program is reshaping their futures through educational achievement, meaningful employment, and financial independence. The members of GOSO have found success in reforming their lives outside of the criminal justice system.
GOSO helps alleviate impediments that many young men face upon reentry. These setbacks are often aspects of life that we take for granted – getting a degree, finding an internship, or getting a job – but GOSO empowers young men to live their life fully and unhindered upon reentry. GOSO has entrenched itself as one of the most effective reentry programs in the New York City area for justice-involved 16- to 24-year-old men. Fewer than 15% of GOSO participants return to jail, as compared to a national average of 67% for the aforementioned age group. Over the past ten years, GOSO has proven that early intervention within the criminal justice system, along with counseling, educational support, vocational training, and workforce development works to lower recidivism and help our members become committed members of their communities.
GOSO has also become a leader in countering justice-involvement by collaborating with community partners, public defenders, and the courts to identify at-risk individuals who have had encounters with the criminal justice system. Their foundational system and targeted interventions divert young men from entering the justice system and prevent recurring involvement with that system.
Decreasing recidivism and limiting justice-involvement are significant goals, but what sets GOSO apart is the program’s commitment to radically reshaping their young men’s lives through their comprehensive approach to reentry, job readiness, and youth development. GOSO’s clinically-trained staff accommodate individual and group counseling, as well as coaching and support to inspire their members and assist them in changing the trajectory of their lives.
Since GOSO’s inception eight years ago, GOSO participants have earned degrees or certificates from leading colleges and universities; many others have earned their high school diplomas or GEDs and are presently enrolled in colleges and vocational programs throughout New York City. Most are also employed. They have identified their goals for the future and are now on course to achieve them. That is GOSO’s primary measure of success.
In this second episode, we sit down with GOSO’s Chief Program Officer, Geoffrey Golia, and Senior Program Director, Julia Friedman, as well as Xavier, a member of GOSO. We gather their views of success and learn what it means to relatively measure success. If you’d like to learn even more about GOSO and their program, you can check out their website. Enjoy the second GOSO episode here!