Alternative Intervention Models is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Los Angeles, California, which was founded by Leila Steinberg in 1997. The non-profit has been funded mostly through individual donations with minor foundation and business support. Staff members have primarily been volunteers. This year AIM has added professional staff members to increase our development efforts and expand our mission.
Leila Steinberg has demonstrated an unflinching commitment to serving those in need, from convicts in San Quentin, gang members in and out of the LA juvenile system, to students in Sheffield, England. Steinberg's arts-based curriculum began as poetry circles, blossomed into school assemblies and has matured into intensive workshops designed for at-risk youth in schools, juvenile halls and residential treatment facilities.
High school drop-out rates in urban America are staggering. The combination of growing up poor surrounded by violence and attending public schools that only offer traditional methods of teaching isn't working. Leila Steinberg started working with youth and the arts when arts funding in public schools was slashed as a result of budget cuts, rightly sensing this was a very bad decision.
As a mother of four, Steinberg knows the impact song lyrics have on children. As a professional in the music industry, she recognized the growing significance of hip-hop on youth culture. When rap music emerged, it was denied air play on commercial radio. Leila Steinberg took hip-hop artists to high school assemblies. When she founded AIM, she named it after these school assemblies.
In 2001, Mr. John Hill, Chief of Staff for LA County Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke introduced AIM to Ms. Burke. Her office requested a series of assemblies for LAUSD Group Home Education Program, Youth Development Program for The Institute for Black Parenting, Families For Children, Inglewood USD's Youth Program and Beverly Hills high school Youth Leadership Council.
The success of these assemblies increased awareness of Steinberg's program and numerous requests came in for her educational workshop, The Rose From Concrete. Steinberg took that program into several locked facilities in greater Los Angeles.
She ran a workshop every Thursday in the boys juvenile detention facility in East Los Angles. The results were immediate. There was a waiting list to get in and detention center staff frequently remarked about progress made by participants. Inmates completed weekly writing assignments and read books. The Rose From Concrete program significantly diminished violence and racial tension among the participating juvenile offenders. For many participants Steinberg's program was their first experience in a safe, supportive environment and the first time they were able to divert their pain and anger away from violence into constructive behavior.
Last June she traveled to the Abbydale Grange School in England where the student body is comprised of black, white and Asian students and Muslims from around the world. Leila Steinberg is a deep advocate of conflict resolution. Her approach, which has been successful in getting through to hardened criminals and young people from all walks of life, is that art can reach the soul, transform the individual, and ultimately effect positive and long-lasting change in behavior.
AIM has performed assemblies at the UCLA extension teacher's conference, Hampton University in Virginia, Pennsylvania, State's Anneneberg School of Communications, University of Southern California and University of California at Berkeley. AIM has also performed for the U.C. San Diego ethnic studies presentation, the Malibu music camp, Racial Profiling Conference, Big Bear Artist retreat, Magic Mountain Assembly and Emerging Artists and Technology in Music conference as well as at the Watts Festival and in several Chicago unified public schools. A list of AIM's Rose From Concrete workshops appears on the program's page.