Located in New York City, exalt is modeled on an award-winning, best-practice designated program developed by Founder/Executive Director, Sonja Okun, at CASES, New York’s oldest alternative-to-incarceration agency. exalt was established to serve youth at all junctures along the spectrum of criminal justice involvement. The comprehensive program was designed to inspire significant and positive behavioral change, allowing youth to better recognize the importance of their own self-development, including completing their education.
exalt sees personal transformation as a process driven by intrinsic motivation to create lasting behavioral change. With that belief, the program staff developed an approach that caters to youths’ desire for change while acknowledging the barriers they face. The program seeks to equip youth with a foundation for long-term behavioral change through a structured, supportive program with an approach that aligns with the established and respected Stages of Change model. The programmatic approach at exalt aligns with research on the best methods for moving participants from contemplating change to action.