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Rochester Area Youth Assistance
Welcome to the Rochester Area Youth Assistance Website

Welcome to the Rochester Area Youth Assistance Website

About Rochester Youth Assistance

Rochester Area Youth Assistance (RAYA) is a non-profit organization whose goal is to strengthen youth and families in the Rochester Community and to reduce the incidence of delinquency, abuse and neglect through community partnerships.

Professional counseling and case-work services are available for youth, ages 5 through 16, and their families who live within the Rochester School District. This assistance is confidential. Referrals are made by school personnel, police, parents, friends, and young people themselves.

Anyone interested in learning more about the RAYA Program or how to become a RAYA volunteer is invited to attend a RAYA Board of Directors meeting which is held the fourth Tuesday of every month (excluding June, July and December) in the Graham Room at the RCS Administration Building – 501 W. University, Rochester, 48307 beginning at 5:00 p.m. or call the RAYA office at 248-656-3558.

Oakland Press Highlights Value of RAYA

We are very pleased that the Oakland Press chose to write such a nice article about Rochester Area Youth Assistance. Thanks Oakland Press!

Fire it Up for Youth Fundraiser – Spaghetti Dinner & Pancake Breakfast


RAYA would like to thank everyone who supported our Fire It Up for Youth Spaghetti Dinner and Pancake Breakfast. It was a huge success. A special thanks to all of the wonderful volunteers who made this event possible and to the Rochester Fire Department. All proceeds from the 3-day event will benefit RAYA programs and services

Nominations Now Being Accepted for the 2015 Youth Recognition Award

Nominations are due February 16, 2015. For more information, please review the Nomination Form and Instructions on our Documents page.

2014 Annual Meeting Information

The 2014 RAYA Annual Meeting was held Friday, October 17, 2014, at the Older Persons’ Commission.

Presentations were made by the municipal sponsors of the program, along with local business owner, Ravinder Sani, Tim Hortons of Rochester. The focus of the meeting was “The Community Tapestry That Weaves Us Together.”

Mr. Dave Zemens was recognized as the 2014 RAYA Volunteer of the Year for his service as a RAYA Board Member and to the RAYA website.

2014 Annual Meeting Program

Services Provided to the Community

  • SHORT-TERM COUNSELING & CASEWORK SERVICES are available to young people and their families, ages 5 to 16, who reside in the Rochester Community Schools District. Services are voluntary, confidential and include a $25 one-time processing fee.
  • FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE is available to children K-12th grade for skill-building (sports or dance activities, classes, summer learning, etc.), camps or child care. **Parent or guardian must provide appropriate financial information to be eligible for financial assistance.
  • CAMP SAFARI: Camp Safari is a low-cost, day camp for children ages 6-12 years of age for qualifying families who reside in Rochester Hills. This program is funded by the City of Rochester Hills, Rochester Avon Recreation Authority and Rochester Area Youth Assistance. RAYA and RARA work cooperatively to provide this summer camp June through August.
  • FAMILY EDUCATION: A variety of programs are provided which facilitate family growth and development, including workshops, guest speakers and parenting classes.
  • YOUTH RECOGNITION AWARD: A Youth Recognition Banquet is held each year to honor area young people who have overcome major obstacles to reach their goals, volunteered their time to an individual, an organization or in their community, or who has demonstrated personal perseverance beyond the ordinary. Nominations for this award are accepted all year and can be found at the RAYA web site.
  • MENTORS PLUS PROGRAM is a program which matches a young person with a trained adult volunteer for the purpose of companionship and role modeling.

Girls Stand Strong

Mondays – April 13, 20, 27 & May 4, 2015
Sessions will be held at Rochester Area Youth Assistance
3200 W. Tienken – Rochester Hills, MI 48306 (Room 204)
(Rochester Area Youth Assistance is located in the Performing Arts Center at Rochester Adams High School.)
6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
(Rochester Area Youth Assistance is located in the Performing Arts Center at Rochester Adams High School.)
This 4-week session will include interaction and discussion about:

  • Effectively dealing with bullying, “mean girls,” gossip, etc
  • Strategies for resisting peer pressure
  • Developing healthy coping strategies and inner strengths

A parent/guardian is asked to attend the last session, May 4th, with their teen. Call Rochester Area Youth Assistance, 248-656-3558, to register or for more information. There is a $10 fee for this group. Space is limited. Registration is required.

Registration deadline is April 10, 2015.Girls Stand Strong Flyer

Boys Stand Strong Program

The Boys Stand Strong/LIFE group is part of the RAYA STRONG Family Education Program series. This is an interactive group to educate and equip middle school-age boys with:

  • Gaining Life Skills
  • Processing Frustration
  • Learning & Practicing New Coping Skills
  • Healthy Body/Healthy Mind
  • Social Media Speaker

40th Annual Youth Recognition Banquet

On Tuesday, March 25, 2014, Rochester Area Youth Assistance honored 29 youth at the 40th Annual Youth Recognition Banquet. The event titled “Little Seeds, Big Deeds” was held at the River Crest and is co-sponsored by the Rochester Area Optimist Club.

Honorees, their families and community members enjoyed a special presentation by Ms. Kristin Penrose, Miss Mid-Michigan Outstanding Teen, followed by a buffet dinner and awards presentation. 2014 Honorees represented Rochester Adams High School, Stoney Creek High School, A.C.E. High School, Rochester High School, Van Hoosen Middle School, West Middle School, Baldwin Elementary School, the International Academy and Notre Dame Prep.

The students were recognized for their involvement and dedication to many organizations, including Common Ground Crisis Line, Crossroads Correction Center, First Congregational Church, Heart to Hart Mentor Group, O.A.T.S., Project S.H.A.L.O.M., the Rochester Adams Gay-Straight Alliance, Rochester Area Neighborhood House, SCAMP, to name a few.

The Judith Coats Memorial Award was awarded to a senior, Jasman Sidhu, Rochester Adams High School, for her personal resolve and community service. A $500 scholarship was awarded to one deserving senior by the family of Judy Coats. Judy was a member of the RAYA Board of Directors from 1991 through 2009. She is remembered as a dedicated volunteer to Youth Assistance and, especially, the Youth Recognition Program.

Pictures from this special night can be viewed at http://danteetor.zenfolio.com/raya2014.


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