While today’s youth are plagued with many challenges, a number of free programs exist to maximize their potential. They address different facets of their development including social, educational, mental, spiritual, and physical. But, where can you find these valuable resources? This article jumpstarts your search by pointing you in the right direction. So, if you work with troubled youth or if you’re the parent of a troubled teen, take time to explore the available options listed below. In addition to being viable solutions, they’re a source of hope.
- Homework Centers
During the school year, many libraries have homework centers to assist youth with academics. They hire qualified staff to tutor teens in different subject areas.
Don’t forget the church. Today, the church is doing more to reach troubled youth. In fact, they have youth ministries. Churches do outreach through summer camps, tutoring, drug programs, sports, and vocational Bible school.
- Recreation Centers
Every municipality has a recreation center or two for local residents. Here, paid employees supervise youth activities like sports, games, and arts & crafts. At the same time, other organizations are permitted onsite to work with youth. Call your local recreation center to learn what it has to offer troubled teens.
The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) has programs for troubled youth. Some focus on prevention and some focus on intervention.
Unlike the YMCA, the Young Women’s Christian Association targets young girls and women. They too can be found in communities throughout the nation.
- Boys & Girls Club
The local boys and girls clubs deter youth from the streets by offering a range of recreational activities. Many of the volunteer staff consists of teachers from the area schools. Visit one of the sites in your neighborhood to meet the staff and to learn what’s on the menu of services.
- Summer Camp
Camp allows troubled teens to get out of the city and experience something different. Check out the area programs sponsored through city recreation departments and churches.
- Community Agencies
A host of community agencies can be found in your own backyard. Therefore, take a stroll or drive through your neighborhood to uncover these diverse programs and services.
Likewise, a number of health care organizations work with troubled youth. For example, they hold parenting classes and support groups for teens.
Many social service agencies work in collaboration with the schools to reach troubled youth. Principals, guidance counselors, social workers, and coaches should be able to connect you to the right sources.