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Vocational Skills and Life Skills

We provide comprehensive life skills resources, including problem solving, anger management, communication skills, vocational program resources, stress management, gang intervention, budgeting decision making, and basic skills for daily living. Job skills, communications skills, and making the best use of free time are critical life skills. Resources on this page are especially important to students at high schools, alternative schools, and vocational and technical (VoTech) schools.


Building vocational skills is an important step in the road to leading a life free of gang violence. Like other life skills, vocational readiness empowers at-risk populations and former gang members to stay out of trouble. This becomes especially critical as they begin to reach the age where they enter the workforce.

Personal Preparation Program (P3)

A critical component of any gang intervention program, this is a workbook-based curriculum addressing ten important issues.

Topics: Getting started • Let's look at your skills • What kind of work do you like? • Motivation: Developing a positive attitude is a critical part of the process • Thinking Realistically About Work • Practical Aspects of Finding a Job • Personal Marketing for Jobs — One Step at a Time • Have a "Data Sheet" you can bring to every contact and meeting • Applications, Resumes, and Interviews • Keeping a Job!

Vocational Readiness Lessons (V1, V2)

These vocational readiness workbooks emphasize preparation, skills for success, finding the right job, proper work behavior, and practical/ethical issues in the work place. They can be of use to any gang intervention.

Topics: Practice in specific job interview skills • Identify their strengths at critical job skills • Exploring for the ideal job • Role-playing practice in preparation for common work situations • Address ethical issues in the workplace • Identify values critical to job and career

Interpersonal Communication Skills & Managing Your Anger

Life skills programs often include interpersonal communication skills curriculums. Our Managing Your Anger curriculum is also part of an intervention program's Anger, Aggression, and Gang Violence program resources. Each lesson in this curriculum includes a lesson plan and participant handouts. It is easy to implement and addresses many topics in aggression replacement and communication skills. Gang intervention programs will find this resource useful.

1-4 Basic skills for better communication 24 When you need to express a complaint
5-8 Becoming a better listener 25 Handling peer pressure
9-11 Learning to be assertive 26 Building relationships 1
12-13 Where does your anger come from? 27 Building relationships 2
14-15 Where does your anger go? 28 The best way to make an apology
16-17 Self control: keeping out of fights 29 Assertion communication skills practice
18-19 Self control: when someone accuses you 30, 31 Protecting your boundaries
20-21 Self control: when someone tries to provoke you 32 Conflict resolution practice
22 Self control: when someone is angry at you 33-35 Refusal skills
23 Self control: stressful situations 36 Using your "escape" skills

Specific Life Skills Curriculum

Handling the Tough Times
1 An introduction to stress management 12 Get yourself together
2 What is stress doing to you? 13 Having a backup plan
3 What happened to you? 14 Making use of community resources
4 What pushes your buttons? 15 Affirming yourself
5 How have you "coped" in the past? 16 Using the serenity prayer
6, 7, 8 Coping skills 17 External supports
9 Living smarter. Living longer 18 How to be good to yourself
10 How am I doing today? 19 Handling difficult situations
11 What to do when you are having bad feelings    
Making Good Use of Your Leisure Time
1 Seeking happiness and contentment 4 Increasing the joy in your life
2 Identifying your needs and wants 5 Your most important values
3 Making your dreams come true 6 Adding balance to your life with new activities
Managing Your Money
1 Keeping track of everyday spending 5 Summary activity
2 Travel expenses 6 When you need more money
3 Clothing costs 7 Becoming money smart
4 Household furnishings 8, 9 Your budget

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