History and Vision

History and Vision

Begun in 1977 by a local doctor and other community members concerned about the lack of services available to at-risk youth, DIAL/SELF has consistently provided outreach, advocacy, and residential services to area teens for the past 40 years.

Guiding Principles
In order to safely make the transition from childhood to adulthood, youth need effective social skills, clear and consistent boundaries, marketable skills, caring support, high expectations and opportunities for meaningful participation and contribution. Youth are more likely to make the journey to adulthood unscathed when there are caring adults actively serving as guides, providing safe havens, and fostering self-awareness, self-worth, self-discipline and self-motivation. While recognizing that it is impossible to guarantee teens a completely “safe passage” from childhood to adulthood, DIAL/SELF seeks to provide youth with the support and guidance that they need to become healthy, independent and productive citizens who are meaningfully engaged in their communities.

The Mission of DIAL/SELF is to help young people increase their personal and community strengths and develop autonomy by connecting them with housing, income, education and civic opportunities.

The Philosophy of DIAL/SELF embraces the principles inherent in the Positive Youth Development framework, which believes that all youth possess unique strengths which are enhanced by community support and collaboration and that all youth should have the right to exercise choice in their own lives.
The Core Values of DIAL/SELF include:

  • Collaboration — We work collaboratively with youth, with each other, and with our community to make the most of our combined resources.
  • Accountability — We hold ourselves accountable to high ethical, administrative, programmatic, and fiscal standards.
  • Innovation — We develop and implement creative solutions in response to community needs.
  • Respect — We demonstrate respect through active listening, responsiveness, and inclusion of diverse perspectives.
  • Equity – We acknowledge that our agency exists in a world with systemic racism and other forms of intersectional inequity, and we make efforts to be aware of and address those inequities.

Youth in our communities will have what they need to experience wellbeing. Youth will be meaningfully engaged in and valued by their communities.

Three-year vision
Over the course of the next three years, we expect to continue engaging with the opportunities and needs presented by an equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2025, DIAL/SELF will have stronger programs and organizational and financial structures, guided by the intentional inclusion of youth voices and organizational commitment to racial justice and equity.

DIAL/SELF 2022-2025 Strategic Plan