Anymore, it’s nearly impossible to watch the news, open a newspaper (yes some of us still do that) or just catch up on current events without realizing in some way, shape or form, the youth of our nation, more accurately, right in our backyard are in severe trouble and facing challenges and circumstances that are truly heartbreaking.
Beyond the challenges and circumstances are the temptations that are so readily available at any given moment. Unlike the older generation, the current youth are exposed to unprecedented speed and access of data and communication. Right in their pocket is a gateway to bullying, drug solicitation or debauchery.
Like any other write-up, we could dive into the statistics about poverty, hunger, drug addiction, broken families and hopelessness; we have the research and data, and its immensely important, but for now we’d like to focus on a solution and “call to action” if you will.
ATP currently has two programs that focus on at risk youth in the area. Our After School Program and the ATP and Me Mentorship program. All the kids we work with are classified as being an “extreme-risk-youth”. These kids are receiving a free/reduced breakfast, lunch and dinner from the school in addition to getting homework and academic assistance. Whatever their situation or circumstance, these kids need and more than deserve, our help.
It’s my thought that the vast majority of the issues we face in America can be solved by rolling up our sleeves and actually working towards solutions rather than yelling loudest or typing fastest. We need to bite louder than we bark!
So how can you be part of the solution?
Commit - If this issue speaks to you, make the decision that it’s time to get off the sideline and bring your A-game.
Take an inventory - What in your life do you have abundance of or have to offer? We all have something. Maybe you’re blessed with finances but don’t have a lot of time. Support a program. OR the reverse and you find yourself with time to spare and can devote it to being a mentor. Maybe you have a skillset like coaching, teaching, or a trade that you can share. The sky’s the limit, but take the time to inventory yourself and apply it.
Take Action - This isn’t a pitch for ATP’s programs. The fact of the matter is we’d love to have you, your support and if you are ready to take action; we can certainly help. But, the point of this message is the call to action. Go to your school districts, local library or sports associations-whatever you can, just get started!
The children of America and more specifically Western Pa/Eastern OH, need your help and what you have to offer. Every child deserves a chance and positive influence in their lives. A small investment from your life could have eternal impact on theirs.