BOOST Network Member Profile
The Paso del Norte Center of Hope (PDNCOH) is a community-based, non-profit organization that has been working to eradicate human trafficking and its effects in the El Paso region for the past 10 years. PDNCOH provides a range of services to individuals who have been victimized by trafficking, including advocacy, training, and direct support. In addition to their work with victims, PDNCOH also focuses on outreach and education to raise awareness about this crime, equip the community to detect and respond to it, and prevent future instances of trafficking. The Center is also the lead facilitator for the local El Paso Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition comprised of over 120 individuals representing over 45 different agencies, proudly collaborating at a local, state, and national level with diverse organizations addressing human trafficking in our region.
As part of prevention and outreach, PDNCOH has also presence in the OST field. PDNCOH received SHAC approval, which allows them to partner with nearly all the school districts across El Paso and some cities in southern New Mexico. Currently, PDNCOH offers in school and out-of-school time programming providing workshops and activities for children and youth ages 8-19 (or equivalent to 3rd-12th grade) such as Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), STEM clubs, Cyber-safety, Love146, Summer Programming, and HT 101 presentations.
In SEL, participants learn how to understand their feelings, behaviors, and emotions and how are they connected in order to learn how to self-regulate. Youth also develop various coping skills such as practicing mindfulness, breathing techniques, and artistic expression. The program also reinforces life skills such as healthy relationships, self-care, and non-violent communication. As well as learning socialization, team building, and leadership skills developed as youth explore and participate in the workshops through different group settings. Their STEM CLUBS give youth a safe space after school to explore science, technology, engineering, and math concepts. This club teaches youth about the scientific method, experiments, coding, and the engineering and design process. As youth become more tech-savvy, PDNCOH uses the in-school and out-of-school space to train children and youth on Cyber-safety and the best practices to use the Internet in the most effective and safe manner, and avoid becoming a victim of the vast and diverse cyber-threats. The Center has staff trained to provide Love 146 “Not a Number” a Human Trafficking curriculum for middle and high school students in 7th-12th grade. This is an interactive child trafficking and exploitation prevention curriculum designed to provide youth with information and skills in a manner that inspires them to make safe choices when they encounter potentially exploitative situations and utilize healthy support systems that may decrease their vulnerabilities. Additionally, PDNCOH has yearly summer camps, a condensed version of SEL classes with more activities and physically interactive games that teach youth cooperation and self-awareness among other social skills. The summer camps have new themes each year such as art, wellness, etc. All of their programming aims to foster a safe space for youth to promote healthy physical, mental, and emotional development of at-risk youth and reduce potential exploitation and or victimization.
PDNCOH staff are trained facilitators by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for various age-appropriate presentations covering cyber-safety and child exploitation trainings, which allows them to provide capacity building opportunities and presentations for parents, teachers, school staff, and OST program providers.
“The Center of Hope has been working with the BOOST Network since 2019 and we continue to participate to connect to our community and support other programs in the Network who are working with youth. We believe after-school programs can provide the structure and support during afterschool hours for youth, particularly those who may be at risk of negative outcomes. OST programs provide a safe, supportive environment where kids can connect with trusted adults and build relationships with their peers. Overall, afterschool programs can be an important protective factor for youth, helping to enrich their lives and provide a positive alternative to unstructured free time. Our work is to support and promote healthy and resilient behaviors in youth to avoid being victimized and we feel OST programs are a conduit to advance and support our work in a more effective manner.” Nicole Schiff, Executive Director, Paso del Norte Center of Hope.
To learn more about the programs and services PDNCOH offers our community please visit www.pdncoh.org