Youth Find Their Purpose in YR Programming

By Jeremy Brown

The most rewarding part of working with adolescent youth is witnessing their discovery of their own talents, passions and ultimately, their purpose.

As a volunteer in Youth Resources’ programs from 2006-2014, I watched these discoveries unfold in my peers, myself, the younger students we mentored, as well as the adults who invested their time in us. Now, as a staff member at YR, I get the daily privilege of seeing our youth take ownership in their skills and establish themselves as servant leaders.

Recent Mater Dei graduate and current IUPUI freshman Lauren French is one of those leaders YR has had the honor of working with. When asked about the impact YR has had in her life, Lauren shared the following story:

“Youth Resources is without a doubt why I am the person I am today. For the past eight years of my life, this organization has inspired, developed and changed me into a person who values the potential in others and sees the potential in myself. YR doesn’t just provide services to southwestern Indiana, it pumps life into the veins of young people.

If you’ve never witnessed 100 plus students shouting encouragement at 5:50 am, a jury of teens collaborate and fight for the well-being of a first-time offender, a young mind with a big idea turn their goal into reality with a Make A Difference Grant, or been in a room of 250 students hugging, laughing, and crying with people they met a few days ago, it’s hard to understand the impact of YR on this incredible community. If you haven’t witnessed a YR program in action, take my word for it – I’ve been involved in every single one.

Because of YR, Evansville is a place worth living in. A strong community comes from strong young leaders. I believe with all my being that YR is the heartbeat of the youth in our community. The youth in YR’s programs take in these resources and exhale talent, enthusiasm and hope. It’s easy to see that the programming YR offers is unique and rewarding; but to experience the energy and passion radiating off of these amazing young people is priceless, not to mention contagious. These young people are already fantastic leaders and as adults will continue to put these skills back into the community that made them who they are.

After my eight years of involvement with YR it’s safe to say this isn’t a just another extracurricular. YR’s purpose, message, and passion have become my own. Because of YR, I am attending IUPUI to pursue a master’s degree in non-profit management, and I have every intent to give back in every way I can to the organization that gave me everything.”

Jeremy Brown is the TEENPOWER, Communications and Special Events Coordinator at Youth Resources.