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Taylor Diversion Programs

Taylor Diversion Programs is a youth and family focused support program which embraces a national movement to keep at-risk youth in school and beyond. By providing a comprehensive program that will empower youth to make positive changes in their lives, our vision comes with a clear understanding that every child is at-risk.

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Taylor Diversion Programs


Our Mission

TDP provides supportive prevention services for troubled youth and their families by using proven strategies in education, vocation, nature and wellness in order to create stronger, healthier communities.

How TDP Began

In October of 2012, a newly, developed organization entitled Taylor Diversion Programs (TDP) succeeded in securing a 501(c)(3) status that would bring to the Tionesta, PA area one of the most unique, enriching and needed programs for at-risk youth and families across the United States. Debra and Michael Cummings, both of whom had worked for years in PA placement centers, as well as Michael serving as the Executive Director of Mid-Atlantic Youth Services, decided to develop their own program for at-risk youth. Their extensive knowledge base and rich background experiences in the care and treatment of at-risk youth helped prepare them to establish the Taylor Diversion Programs (TDP) which
officially opened in 2014.

Taylor Diversion Programs quickly came to fruition; the basic goal of this program was to provide adjudicated at risk youth (ages 14 – 21) with the skills, attitudes and assistance they needed to be successful in school and society; the over-arching goal of this program was to keep these youth out of the Juvenile Justice System, as well as help them to return to family/community if possible and to become successful in their life. In addition to the guidelines that were to be followed by the state licensure agencies, Debra and Michael had their own guidelines and vision: LOVE each of these kids as their own; build strong relationships with them and help them to become successful in their next step in life.

What others are saying...

I have been a registered trainer with USA Boxing for over 25 years, and also am a member of the Western PA Police Athletic League and involved with the Golden Gloves Boxing Program. In that length of time, I've met countless people who profess to be doing what they do "for the kids". No one exemplifies that more than Debbie and Mike Cummings and the staff at Taylor Diversion Programs. This is a first-class organization run by caring and professional people. I am proud to be associated with them.

- Joseph Helman, Helman's Gym

What others are saying...

I am a Guidance Counselor from Brookville Area High School and give my highest level of support for TDP Programs. Over 20-plus years of counseling, I have seen many different philosophies and approaches designed to help troubled students. No one does it better than the staff of Taylor Diversion Programs. They work tirelessly to not only get to the cause of the problem, but they help the student overcome those concerns, whether it be psychological, emotional, behavioral, victimization, abuse, or a combination of issues.

- Ray Doolittle, Guidance Counselor, Brookville Area High School

What others are saying...

Taylor Diversion Program not only addresses the development of competencies necessary for a successful transition to living independently in the community, but also includes a family component which assists in the rebuilding of relationships between family, caregivers, schools and communities, an area in which most of these youth have ‘broken many bridges’. Mentoring is a critical component of this program which will be an ongoing process throughout the stay.

- Children & Youth Services Representatives

What others are saying...

“I am firmly convinced that having this leadership and mentoring program in our area will have a very positive impact on our students, our schools, and our communities. It is discouraging to witness deteriorating behavior and performance in young people who we know have ample potential, but are not served adequately by the confines of public education. I know that the motivation behind Taylor Diversion Programs is to reach students before they head too far down the wrong path. Even at our small, rural high school, we encounter numerous students that become involved with juvenile probation, placement facilities, and/or incarceration during and after high school. Taylor Diversion Programs will create a scenario where caring adults can have a positive impact in preventing the patterns of negative behavior, rather than reacting to it after the fact.”

- Guidance Counselor

What others are saying...

After visiting the site and hearing the plans you have for TDP, I believe the types of programs and services that you propose to offer will fulfill an important need in the region. The intent of this mentoring program is to help at risk children develop the competencies needed to develop a successful lifestyle and assist in rebuilding relationships between family, caregivers, schools and communities.”

- Congressman

Our Promise

As TDP has grown, we have continued our commitment to exceed the expectations of the populations served; moreover, we have remained committed to treating every youth as family.

The Power of Nature

Set in scenic Tionesta, PA, along the Allegheny River, TDP lets nature serve as a learning laboratory for our at-risk youth. With a 22 acre peninsula and a 33 acre island, we are able to capture the rich opportunity nature gives us to engage youth in the experience of the outdoors. Our nature based foundation provides a setting where instruction and learning extend beyond the traditional classroom.

Richard Louv, renowned journalist, author, and proponent of “No Child Left Inside,” clearly identifies the positive impact that nature can have on the quality of life:

By tapping into restorative powers of nature, we can boost mental acuity and creativity; promote health and wellness; build smarter and more sustainable business, communities, and economies; and ultimately strengthen human bonds. – Richard Louv

Louv’s message is inherent throughout the TDP philosophy. We believe engaging youth in nature and outdoors results in reduced stress, increases cognitive development, improves attention span, and renews a sense of wonder and connection to the earth. Moreover, our TDP program develop, nurture, and promotes relationships of trust and interdependence with others.

By tapping into restorative powers of nature, we can boost mental acuity and creativity; promote health and wellness; build smarter and more sustainable business, communities, and economies; and ultimately strengthen human bonds. – Richard Louv

Our organization relies on the collective wisdom, knowledge, and experience of our instructors, mentors, and advisory board who believe that diversion programming efforts positively impact the lives of at-risk youth, their families, and communities.

Youth eligible for the program are identified and referred to TDP through their schools, self-referrals, Children and Youth Services, and/or County Court Systems.*

A youth’s participation in TDP may or may not be voluntary. Success in the program is contingent upon the youth’s willingness to voluntarily accept services and sanctions. Participation is made available to all youth regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious preference, or legal representation.

*Certain youth who may otherwise face formal processing in the juvenile justice system, are considered for pre-adjudication diversion.
These include:

First time offender
Youth referred by school administrators
Youth referred by magisterial district judges
Youth charged with misdemeanors or non-violent offenses

Multi-Faceted Approach

TDP has created a unique, four-dimensional Prevention/Intervention program for youth:

Through our diversion programs, TDP provides experiences that give youth the opportunities they need to increase their chances for success and the necessary skills to better manage their risks through strength enhancement.

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