Steinbach youth program full of potential
By Aaron Epp | Monday, August 20, 2012
Photo by wavebreakmedia.
STEINBACH, MBYouth for Christ Steinbach is aiming to impact the community with a mentorship program it launched one year ago.
"We want to reveal significance and purpose in the lives of youth," says Carissa Plett, the program's coordinator. "Every kid is born with significance and purpose. God has already placed that in them, and we all need someone to help us reveal that significance and purpose for our lives."
As of mid-August, the program included five mentor/mentee pairs. Plett is hoping to have two or three more pairs matched by the start of school in September. The youth are between the ages of 10 and 18, and the mentors are each more than 20 years old.
The pairs spend a few hours together each week enjoying common interests and activities. They also take part in events organized along with other pairs in the program, as well as community events in Steinbach.
The program grew out of a discussion led by Steinbach's Task Force on Drugs about how the community can combat youth involvement with drugs and the crime that often goes along with drug use. Youth for Christ hopes that by providing at-risk youth with positive role models, they will avoid making illegal decisions.
"Sometimes the kids that are most at-risk also have the most potential," Plett says. "We just see them as kids with promise."
She adds that taking part in community events is important because some businesses and organizations only know the youth in a negative light. By seeing them involved in the community in a positive way, it can help those organizations change the way they look at those young people.
The program is also beneficial to the youth themselves.
"We're trying to show these youth that they're an integral part of their community, and they can get involved and contribute," Plett says.