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"The most important of our time is in our people and in our youth." - Nouman Ali Khan

Your past does not define you! The Next Generation Breaking the CycleBreaking the Cycle

ONH Youth Opportunity Centers restore youth and communities. Providing disadvantaged youth with mentors and educators who equip youth with essential life skills and vocational resources to build a road map to succeed in life.

Evidence Based Youth Program

ONH has designed an evidence-based cognitive-behavioral program that has a proven track record of forty years to successfully address traumatic life experiences. ONH trauma informed curriculum has received the endorsement by the Office of Juvenile Justice Department. The program is designed to assist chronic, high-risk youth with their navigation in the community after traumatic experiences.


Our mission is to mentor and educate underserved youth and provide them with life skills and pathways to success.


ONH envisions a community in which all youth, without regard of their living situation, have an equal opportunity to pursue their goals and dreams, and an equal likelihood of achieving them.

"Educating and supporting our youth is the best way to invest in a properous future." - John Adriance

Evidence Based Youth Program Youth ProgramsYouth Programs

ONH envisions a community in which all youth, without regard of their living situation, have an equal opportunity to pursue their goals and dreams, and an equal likelihood of achieving them

Free Workforce Development - WIOA

The Workforce Pathways for Youth program expands job training and workforce activities for young adults ages 16 – 24. Bridging the gap between their existing activities and the need to expose young adults to career-related services to empower them to enter the workforce.<br />Eligible youth, ages 16 to 24, can access a variety of career and educational services through WIOA funded programs. These services are designed to help enhance job skills, develop leadership qualities, explore career options, participate in adult and peer mentoring opportunities, and take advantage of work experiences.

Youth Reinvestment Program

The Title II YRG Program is a diversion program that utilizes evidence-based case management and workforce development strategies targeting youth who are labeled drop-outs, system involved, high level offenders on formal probation, and/or non-probation high risk youth in needs of services. YRG focuses on violence prevention best practice needs in reducing and or diverting youth from the justice system and equipping them with life skills to build a road map for success.

Prison to Employment Program

The Prison to Employment Initiative provides resources for direct services, supportive services and earn learn opportunities to the formerly incarcerated and justice-involved individuals. Providing training, education and career opportunities to individuals who are/ or have been justice involved. Supportive services are provided to ensure individuals receive the necessary resources and supports for success in attaining permanent employment.

Violence Intervention Prevention

ONH’s VIP services are designed for youth (ages 13 – 30) who are identified as high-risk neighborhoods of gun violence, gang violence, and or gang involvement. High-risk youth are not identified as members of a gang but may demonstrate behaviors that increase the likelihood of gang involvement or gang membership. Therefore, the model is designed to provide victims of violence a safe youth opportunity center, and to reduce the risk of joining a gang by addressing the youth at the individual, family, and peer level, while strengthening problem solving skills and the family’s cohesion. The goal is to increase protective factors against gang membership amongst youth with risk factors.

Healthy Eats & Love Food Outreach

FREE Drive-Up food distribution. Providing free food to anyone in need. You will be welcomed at our food distribution sites regardless of citizenship. We provide variety of healthy food for you and your family. Get the food and nutrition you need! Living in SB County can be expensive. But you don’t have to choose between paying bills or eating healthy food. H.E.A.L Outreach offer a number of free food events each month. View our events to find a H.E.A.L date & location near you.

Train the Trainer - Evidence Based Curriculum

OJJDP List ONH as a model Probation Youth Program. ONH has developed an evidence-based youth program designed to equip disadvantaged youth with tools to overcome trauma. Research completed by: Cal State San Bernardino and University of Irvine’s Criminal Justice Departments, participants were less likely to be arrested, use drugs, displayed greater improvements in social behavior, and were more likely to be employed compared to the control group. To schedule your train the trainer, click on the train the trainer link. Info. on the research

Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Programs Rates ONH as an evidence-based model

Office of Justice Programs sealProgram Profile: Operation New Hope

This is a curriculum-based aftercare program designed to assist chronic, high-risk juveniles in their reintegration to the community after they are released from secure confinement.

Evidence Rating: Promising – One study Promising - One study

Date: This profile was posted on July 20, 2012

This is a curriculum-based aftercare program designed to assist chronic, high-risk juveniles in their reintegration to the community after they are released from secure confinement. The program is rated Promising. Participants in the treatment group had a statistically significant lower number of rearrests and revocations and lower likelihood of substance use and associations with negative peers, compared with participants in the control group.

A Promising rating implies that implementing the program may result in the intended outcome(s).

Program Goals/Target Population

Operation New Hope (previously called Lifeskills ’95) is a curriculum-based aftercare treatment program designed to assist chronic, high-risk juveniles in their reintegration to the community after they are released from secure confinement. The program reinforces small successes while addressing their fears of the real world. The program is designed to treat improperly socialized juveniles by using a series of lifestyle and life skill treatment modalities in an integrated educational approach to healthy decision-making.

Program Theory

The program is grounded in the dynamics of William Glasser’s (1965) “reality therapy” approach. The approach used by the curriculum is based on six programmatic principles believed to help with reintegration:

  1. Improve the basic socialization skills necessary for successful reintegration into the community.
  2. Significantly reduce criminal activity in terms of amount and seriousness.
  3. Alleviate the need for or dependence on alcohol or illicit drugs.
  4. Improve overall lifestyle choices (social, education, job training, and employment).
  5. Reduce the individual’s need for gang participation and affiliation as a support mechanism.
  6. Reduce the high rate of short-term parole revocations.

These principles address the behavioral antecedents believed to be most responsible for failure to reintegrate. A juvenile’s inability to function and adapt to the norms of society is seen as a lifelong problem attributable to the early family socialization process and exacerbated by poor school performance, alcohol and/or illicit drug use, and strong attachments to negative peer groups (Josi and Sechrest 1999).

Program Activities

The treatment consists of 39 hours of programming completed over 13 consecutive weekly meetings that concentrate on different coping skills. There are 13 primary and 29 secondary program treatment topics. The 13 primary topics are 1) Program Introduction, 2) The “Pit”—Dealing With Your Emotions, 3) Unmanageability, 4) Denial, 5) The Problem of Thinking You Can Do It Alone, 6) “Letting Go,” 7) Perceptions, 8) Expectations, 9) Reality, 10) Love, 11) Family Dynamics, 12) Living With Addiction, and 13) Continuous Practice. Each session lasts approximately 3 hours. The first half of each session is used for lectures, while the last half of each session is used for group discussion.

Participants may begin the program during any point in the curriculum. Participation in a given session does not depend on attending the previous session for understanding, nor for progressing through the program.

Additional Information

Operation New Hope also operates a youth training program for at-risk youth age 17 to 21 years old. Before employment placement, staff conduct preemployment skills training and workshops that include topics such as interviewing, grooming, and educational/vocational requirements. The program is run in partnership with the County of San Bernardino (Calif.) Workforce Investment Board. Operation New Hope, in partnership with John Muir Charter School, also provides academic services to help youths attain their high school diplomas or GEDs. However, the effects of these portions of the program have not been evaluated.

Study 1


Josi and Sechrest (1999) found that participants in the treatment group who participated in Operation New Hope were less likely to be rearrested, compared with participants in the control group. At the end of the evaluation period, 32.1 percent of the treatment group had been arrested, compared with 53.9 percent of the control group. This difference was statistically significant.


Participants in the treatment group had fewer revocations, or parole failures, compared with participants in the control group. At the end of the evaluation period, 34.9 percent of the treatment group had revocations, compared with 53 percent of the control group. This difference was statistically significant.

Substance Abuse

Participants in the treatment group were less likely to abuse substances, compared with participants in the control group. At the end of the evaluation period, 81 percent of the treatment group had no positive urine tests, compared with 48.5 percent of the control group. This difference was statistically significant.

Association with Negative Peers

Participants in the treatment group were less likely to associate with negative peers, such as former gang associates, compared with participants in the control group. At the end of the evaluation period, 43.4 percent of the treatment group reported fewer associations with negative peers, compared with 26.1 percent of the control group. This difference was statistically significant.

Study 1

The Operation New Hope (also known as Lifeskills ’95) program was evaluated by Josi and Sechrest (1999) using a quasi-experimental design with a nonrandomized treatment and a control group. The two groups were made up of juvenile parolees released from a secured facility between Feb. 1 and Dec. 31, 1995, who were assigned to the California Youth Authority’s (CYA’s) Inland Parole Office (which served both Riverside and San Bernardino Counties). If a juvenile reported a residence that was within a 25-mile radius of the Inland Parole Office at the time of release, he or she was placed in the treatment group. If the address was beyond the 25-mile radius, the youth was put into the control group. In this study, exactly 115 youths lived within the 25-mile radius, and 115 lived beyond the limit. However, during the evaluation period, nine parolees from the treatment group became involved in an additional program and were removed from the sample (n = 106 for the treatment group).

The overwhelming majority of participants were male—97.4 percent in the treatment group and 95.7 percent in the control group. The average ages were 20.0 and 20.2, respectively. The treatment group was 40.9 percent African American, 39.1 percent Hispanic, and 14.8 percent white. The control group was 50.4 percent Hispanic, 24.3 percent African American, and 20.0 percent white. There were no significant differences between the groups. The treatment group was required to attend all 13 Lifeskills ’95 classes, while the control group was not.

Data was collected through semi structured interviews and surveys of parolees, treatment facilitators, and parole agents. Random drug tests were also performed. Data was collected three times: 1) the first week after release, 2) after the treatment was complete (3 months after release), and 3) at the end of the evaluation period (Feb. 28, 1996). The CrimeSolutions review of this study focused on the results for the end of the evaluation period. At the end of the evaluation period, each juvenile assigned in the study had been on parole for a minimum of 3 months (those paroled in December 1995) to a maximum of 12 months (those paroled in February 1995).

There were several outcomes of interest examined in the study, including rearrest, revocation, substance abuse, and association with negative peers. Revocation was measured through parole failures, which was defined as dishonorable discharge, absent without leave or permission or missing, incarceration in juvenile hall or county jail, revocation for a technical violation, or revocation for a criminal violation. Data on parole failure and rearrest was obtained from the CYA’s Offender-Based Institutional Tracking System. Substance use was measured by examining the results of juveniles’ urine tests. Juveniles self-reported on their own reinvolvement with negative peer groups.

Chi-square analysis was used to test for statistically significant difference in outcome results between the treatment and control groups. Subgroup analyses were conducted to examine the difference in outcomes between treatment and control group participants who did not have revocations.

Operation New Hope manuals can be purchased through the program’s website. Training sessions are also available.

Spotlight on Operation New Hope: Helping Formerly Incarcerated Youth Create Bright Futures

Author: Inland Empire Community Foundation – This article originally appeared in the Press Enterprise, October 2022

In 1980 Operation New Hope (ONH), an Inland Empire-based youth rehabilitation program, was founded as a court-ordered recovery program for incarcerated teens. Bill Degnan, the organization’s founder, worked at California’s Youth Authority and was concerned about the number of young men who returned after being paroled. He believed the solution could be found outside of the prison walls and ONH began as a learning facility to educate and rehabilitate at-risk-youth before they were incarcerated.

ONH worked with youth 17-21 years old to help them understand negative decision-making and toxic relationships and to learn to trust themselves in making informed conscious decisions that would lead them in positive directions. The program focused on reinforcing small, everyday successes and helping teens feel safe. In building these skills, Degnan hoped that youth would no longer see drugs, alcohol and gang activity as means of safety. The goal was to produce confident, self-accepting youth who let go of past failures and focused on creating a bright future for themselves.

Research by Cal State San Bernardino and the University of California, Irvine demonstrated the success of the program. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention has since listed Operation New Hope as a model program.

Today, the ONH continues under the leadership of Degnan’s son, Russell Degnan as CEO, whose goal was to grow the organization from a small nonprofit into a key stakeholder in the communities it served. Working youth throughout San Bernardino County, the organization leaned on its case management success adding in educational opportunities, leadership development and career pathway programs.

The organization opened two Youth Opportunity Centers in San Bernardino and Rancho Cucamonga serving foster youth, teen parents, youth experiencing homelessness, struggling with mental health, or who have experienced the judicial system.  Since 2010, 83% of participants who successfully completed ONH’s Career Pathway Program entered employment and/or enrolled in higher education or technical schools.

“We welcome people where they are at,” Russell Degnan said. “If you came here homeless, we aren’t going to expect you to be further along than that. We’ll help you from wherever you need to start.”

ONH continues to grow its programming and many of the programs it provides are supported through reimbursement contracts from government agencies. This can cause challenges with cash flow. The organization and its board of directors are working to build a more robust income stream that includes more philanthropic support.

Recently, ONH received a Community Impact grant through the Inland Empire Community Foundation. Degnan hopes that more individuals and businesses will discover the organization’s work and consider supporting it. There are also always openings for adult mentors.

“Not everyone has the finances to give but if they want to give back, they can be a mentor,” Degnan said. “We match up youth with an adult professional for a one-year commitment which has proven to increase the success rate.”

Individuals wishing to mentor can sign up through ONH’s website. They need to commit to one year and spend at least 5 to 8 hours a month engaged in a mutually-agreed-upon activity with their student. They should connect with their mentee once a week by telephone or email. Mentors are expected to model behaviors that will help their mentees grow into successful adults, be encouraging and help them develop a plan that will ensure they complete high school and go on to college, vocational school or to a job.

“The public doesn’t know that there is a youth program that helps those that didn’t graduate or are out of high school,” Degnan said “We have 1,000 youth and if we could get 300 with a mentor, as a society we are going to be a better place.”

More information: or  (951) 500-2910

This article originally appeared in the Press Enterprise, October 2022

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Operation New Hope offers programing to transform lives of at-risk youth in San Bernardino County

In April 2021, Congressman Pete Aguilar announced $145,000 in federal grant funding to Operation New Hope, a non-profit in San Bernardino that specializes in connecting at-risk and underserved youth with social services to succeed in life.

The organization, which services well over 600 youth per year, will now have the ability to strengthen its current programming and continue the rollout of its latest initiative undertaking Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which fosters leadership, partnerships, prevention and accountability.

“PSN is a nationwide initiative that brings together a coalition of federal, state, and local community leaders, prosecutors and law enforcement officials to find solutions to the most pressing crimes in the most violent areas of the county. One component of the PSN programming that makes it effective for our communities is that it’s coming from a place of prevention and intervention, opposed to targeting already gang-infested areas,” said Operation New Hope CEO Russell Degnan.

The program is targeting high-risk youth between the ages of 15-24 years old who have high absences in school, are identified as a truant, and/or previous problems with the law.

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“We have many agencies that we’ve partnered with countywide and we currently have a small cohort of youth in the program. But, in the next few months we will be fully ramped up to accept referrals from anyone in the county,” continued Degnan.

He shared that in the coming months if a resident in the county wants to recommend a family member to the program who falls under the specified age group, they can do so or even drop in for information.

One of the organization’s other programs currently in place is its Youth Opportunity Center.

“The Youth Opportunity Center brings together an evidence-based curriculum with social services through multiple agencies for the greater benefit of at-risk youth in the county. The process is fairly simple…first, we sit down with potential students to explain the program, which is followed by an application and an intake survey,” said Summerly Sanchez, Operation New Hope case manager.

One of the organization’s greatest strengths is it’s structured as a drop-in center, where all youth have the ability to visit, hang out, get a feel for the center before committing to a program or service.

From job fairs, food distributions to its transformative social services for youth in the county, the organization as a whole is looking forward to making an impact in the lives of at-risk youth now and in the future.

“Economic opportunity is the key to making sure our young people can live safe and productive lives as members of our community. I’ll continue working to secure federal funding for these types of initiatives to make sure young people in San Bernardino and across the Inland Empire have the resources they need to succeed,” said Aguilar. To learn more, visit

We rise by lifting others in Need

Creating opportunities for Youth to succeed in Life.