At Volunteers for Youth, Every One Counts

26 Sep

Today we present the seventh in our series of profiles of our 13 Founding Members in Chapel Hill-Carrboro.  We are excited to work with an organization that was created when a group of caring individuals decided that giving up on their community’s juvenile delinquents was simply not an option.

Twenty years ago the city of Carrboro faced a rising juvenile crime rate with no solution in sight. Enter Volunteers for Youth (VFY). The organization offers a variety of youth-focused programs all geared towards preventing delinquency.

Question: Is it possible to change the course of a  child’s life?

Volunteers for Youth believes the answer simple —  just give them a chance!  VFY wants every child they work with to know that they are important and to help them grow into strong, contributing members of society.

Here’s how they do it:

Mentoring
High-risk kids are paired with responsible mentors who devote many hours a week to fostering year-long (or in cases life-long) relationships. Mentoring focuses on building positive relationships and encourages children in the community to realize their strengths.

Juvenile Community Service

Youth who have committed crimes in Orange County are assigned community service hours. The young people are then placed in nonprofit work sites where volunteer supervisors oversee and evaluate their work on projects including  park clean up projects and arts & crafts projects that benefit the community. Young people learn valuable life and job skills in the process.

Teen Court
When a first time offender is brought to Volunteers for Youth, they encounter an innovative justice model: Teen Court, run by teens for teens. First time offenders enter into an alternative court program where they are tried by fellow students who take on the roles of prosecutor, defense attorney, clerk, bailiff and juror and sentence them accordingly.

Despite major cuts to funding at the state and Federal level, Volunteers for Youth has never failed to empower young people through these programs. With the support from Carrboro and surrounding communities, they continue to serve at-risk youth in Orange county.

We think Volunteers for Youth is on to something!

Sign up to be a Catchafire Pro Bono Professional and give every child a chance.

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