The agency is looking for adult volunteers.
By AMANDA C. DAVIS
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- Guiding young people in the right direction is the aim of a $38,500 grant the Rebecca Williams Community Center will use for mentoring.
The grant from the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services will provide adult mentors for teen-agers of Trumbull County.
Program officials say mentorship programs teach skills needed to promote self empowerment for youth.
Mentors help steer young people away from alcohol, tobacco, drugs, crime and violence, and teach children to stay in school and maintain good grades.
Anita Davis, teen prevention supervisor at Rebecca Williams, said many children served by the agency come from single-parent homes and benefit greatly from having a role model outside the family.
The idea is that young people and their mentors spend at least an hour together each week, sharing an activity they enjoy or just talking.
About 20 mentors are needed. They'll be paired up for one year and will receive a small stipend if they spend their own money on activities.
Good choices: Jean Forbes, executive director of Rebecca Williams on Main Avenue S.W., said in a press release the program will go a long way to help at-risk youth make good choices.
"We can reach these youth before they become involved in behavior destructive to themselves and the community," she added.
The state agency providing the grant plans, initiates and coordinates an extensive program to educate the public and try to prevent substance abuse.
Youth mentoring programs serve 2,500 people statewide and have grown in the past year.
Luceille Fleming, ODADAS director, said studies show such programs are very effective in discouraging bad behaviors among youth.
"Innovative programs such as this help us reach our goal of raising a generation of youth who are turned off by drugs rather than turned on by them," she added.
For more information, or for those who wish to become adult mentors, call Davis at 399-8931, ext. 26.
Lifelines: Rebecca Williams is a Trumbull Lifelines agency.
Trumbull Lifelines, formerly Trumbull County Board of Alcohol, Drugs and Mental Health, is the agency responsible for funding, planning and evaluating all health, drug and alcohol programs in the county.
It oversees 23 agencies that provide services to prevent and treat such problems.
Trumbull Lifelines is funded through a county-wide levy and matching state and federal funds.