"Riley" is a 15-year-old boy who is two months into his sophomore year of high school. He has an older brother who was at school with him last year but has since graduated. Riley is struggling in his classes and has left school at lunch more than once, not coming back for class. He's not into drugs or crime (yet); he just wandered around town by himself.
People in Riley's life could call him many things:
- A "slacker" by his peers;
- A "frequent flyer" by his counselor, who sees him when he's been skipping;
- A "delinquent" by the juvenile court counselor who sentences kids to rehab for truancy; or,
- A "future inmate" by the State of Washington.
We know Riley to simply be a student who is struggling. To stay out of the juvenile justice system, Riley needs to stay in school. To stay in school, Riley needs to understand what's going on inside of him and how that influences the decisions he makes and the actions he takes. To do that, he needs support.
Help support students, like Riley, with your donation.
Fortunately, Riley's high school partners with the DRC's Youth Empowerment Services (YES!). Once a week, Riley's day includes a period when two young people from our YES Team come in and take over his teacher's class. They have everyone sit in a circle, which is meant to show that everyone is equal. Riley wanted to leave the room when they started talking about feelings, but things got interesting when they played a game he liked. Someone would say a feeling and toss the ball to someone else who had to say a need that was connected to that feeling. He enjoyed it when it wasn't just about him. Riley now feels more engaged at school, and his attendance and grades are reflecting that.
You can help students just like Riley learn how to process the aspects of their lives that get in the way of their learning. Your support will enable the DRC to partner with more schools and serve more students, helping them stay in school and get on track to create a future with possibility in it, not prison.
Say YES! to empower youth with your contribution to the DRC's Youth Empowerment Services through the 'Give Local' campaign.
If you make a donation before November 20th, 2018 your gift will be "stretched" by an Incentive Fund from our partner, the Community Foundation of South Puget Sound. If you have already made a donation, please accept our gratitude for your support for our efforts to mentor and nurture the next generation.
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