We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.
-Franklin D Roosevelt-
This is a notion that was penned over half a decade ago and still rings true in the year 2020. So much so, that in a rural county of around 16,000, one organization was formed to solve what some say is a dire problem facing rural communities all over the country. The need for at risk youth to be guided in a more positive and productive direction thus changing the course of their lives for the better.
Enter in Raising Youth Services,otherwise known as RYS, formed by the County Sheriff Chris Pounds, and former teacher, Sarah Childers. Both individuals possessed a drive to intervene on behalf of at risk youth and ended up combining their experience into establishing a non profit organization whose mission is to provide opportunity for at risk youth in Comanche County, Texas. They are meeting this mission by assigning at risk youth to mentors, along with providing post secondary readiness, life skills training, and crisis intervention.
When asked about his intentions that led to the establishing RYS, Sheriff Pounds responded by stating that, “ I truly believe in the overwhelming need for higher quality resources to be available to the general public. I do not feel that this is being achieved and as a society, we can and need to aspire to do better. In this day and age, primarily with the disintegration of the family unit, too much responsibility is burdened by entities that are not equipped with the necessary resources that are needed to promote sustainable and generational change within our society. This issue has been weighing heavily on my mind for a few years now, even before there was a growing nationwide movement for reformation of certain government institutions.”
“The creation of RYS represents the public and private sector combining forces in order to solve a growing problem inside of our county. Along with policies, procedures, and curriculum we will follow, our programs are also utilizing old fashioned methods such as providing a sit down meal at a table before beginning group sessions along with building peer to peer relationships in person instead of over social media. There is scientific evidence that there is something to these methods and reasons as to why they have proven to be a positive component when it comes to raising a healthy family. My hope is that this proves to be a success and serves as a merit for other underserved areas that can learn from this process and want to follow suit.”
Indeed, time will tell if these efforts will be successful and produce valuable learning tools to enhance future methods and ideas. Without the help of the community and organizations, the lack of resources and these issues will continue to plague society and progressively get worse.
If you would like to assist Raising Youth Services in their mission, you can send them a donation to 232 West Pecan, Deleon, Texas 76444 or through their website, www.RaisingYouthServices.org