Our goal is to provide youth with a supportive network of peers, opportunities for academic and personal growth and exposure to positive transformative experiences. By enhancing education and leadership skills, providing guidance and developing trusting relationships; we empower our youth with the confidence and life skills to make better choices and lead positive lives.
One Day at a Time believes that adult mentoring, effective coping and adjusting methods, and responding to issues positively, will provide the framework for youth and young adults to successfully navigate through life. The organization works hard to empower underserved youth in order to prevent or deter them from negative or undesirable behaviors. We do this by building the inner core. Our vision is to help youth and young adults become the best version of themselves that they can be.
- Provide a safe place to have a voice and be listened to
- Provide positive growth opportunities for children, youth and young adults
- Model positive lifestyle choices
- Treat all with dignity and respect
One Day At a Time or ODAT was founded in 1997 by Johnny Rodriguez, to help turn around the lives of young men and women that were at high risk of becoming involved with violence or gangs.
Prior to this, Mr. Rodriguez had spent his time working as a campus resource officer and volunteering across East Contra Costa County middle and high schools in community outreach and gang awareness work. He saw that many of the youth he worked with just needed some guidance and an opportunity to believe in themselves and therefore started ODAT. Due to the need in 2009; ODAT services expanded to include young adults, both in terms of program and leadership development. Additionally, ODAT also redirected it's focus and became centered on empowering youth and young adults from all backgrounds and not just focusing on specific subgroups. This has improved school climates by allowing youth; whom otherwise may not have known each other to develop positive relationships with their peers and embrace and learn from each others' differences.
Additionally, in 2010 ODAT partnered with John Muir Health to offer the Beyond Violence program to youth and young adults in East Contra Costa County that are seriously injured and are victims of street violence and end up at John Muir Trauma Center, Walnut Creek. ODAT’s Intervention Specialist then works with these clients for a year and provides resources, referrals and wrap around services to reduce or prevent future re-injury, retaliation and recidivism linked with violence. More information on this service can be found in the ‘Our Services’ tab under ‘Hospital Linked Services’.
Previously, ODAT had been its own, stand-alone non-profit, but due to the staff wanting to commit the majority of their time and passion to serving youth and young adults; ODAT leadership made the decision to seek out fiscal sponsorship and in 2012 ODAT became a fiscally sponsored project of Community Initiatives, a 501(c)(3), public benefit, not for profit organization. ODAT has grown in many aspects, one of them being that in 2015, ODAT started its first ever elementary level, Youth Mentor program at a local elementary school. The purpose is to work with young children in order to improve self-esteem, practice positive social interactions, develop positive attitudes towards individuals and school, improve individuals decision-making skills, express oneself through group activities and learn skills to manage anger and to resolve conflicts using peaceful solutions.