Somerset County divisions, boards, commissions, and affiliated agencies offer a variety of programs and services directed to youth. More information is available about each area by linking to the webpages.
4-H Youth Development
Offered through Rutgers Cooperative Extension, The 4-H Youth Development Program uses a learn-by-doing approach to enable youth to develop the knowledge, attitudes and skills they need to become competent, caring and contributing citizens of the world. This is accomplished by using the knowledge and resources of caring adults.
Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.)
D.A.R.E. is a collaborative effort by certified law enforcement officers, educators, students, parents, and community to offer an educational program in the classroom to prevent or reduce drug abuse and violence among children and youth.
Police Youth Week
Offered by the Somerset County Police Academy, Police Youth Week is an interactive one-week training program modeled after the Academy’s Basic Police Recruit Training Program." The program is offered during the summer and is open to Somerset County residents only.
Students ages 13 to 19 exhibit works of visual art, present theatrical scenes, perform dance, vocal and instrumental music, and present original film and creative writing works at this annual event.
Vocational and Technical Schools
The Vocational and Technical High School offers twenty career and technical education programs for full-time or shared-time county students in grades 9-12.
The Somerset County Youth Council was established to give young people a forum where their ideas and concerns could be expressed and conveyed to the Board of County Commissioners. Members are actively solicited from middle schools and high schools (both public and private) in Somerset County. Activities of the council are coordinated by the students.
Youth Employment Services (YES)
The YES Program serves teens and young adults with difficult life challenges and gives them the tools to earn money and become independent. The program is cost-free and voluntary. A case manager is assigned to identify the participant’s education and employment interests. In weekly meetings with the case manager, the participant develops a success strategy and gets connected with basic services such as medical care, mental health or drug counseling to meet acute needs before job-seeking.
Youth Leadership Somerset
Youth Leadership Somerset is a leadership development program that introduces students to the organizations and services that shape Somerset County, and challenges them to explore current issues facing the community. The program is held one Saturday a month during the school year. Applicants are competitively selected to participate.
The Youth Services Division plans and coordinates efforts of government and community agencies that work with at-risk delinquent youth with emotional and/or behavioral disturbance.