|Candice Bowers & Michelle Miller-Elliot
In November and December the WIA (Work Investment Act) Youth made decisions within their leadership development groups to find ways to “serve others” with social-learning projects as part of their program activities. One project they chose was to help people close to home in Darke County; they adopted two residents from the Darke County Home. During project time they purchased and wrapped Christmas gifts and spent social time and lunch with the residents.
This is a continuing partnership between WIA Youth Program and the County Home. Over past few summers the County Home has mentored participants seeking careers in the medical field and have guided their work with the elderly during summer employment.
Another part of the education within the WIA Youth Program – Darke County is to help the youth learn about community involvement and how they can become of greater service to their community. Other projects in which they were involved was assisting the local Gateway Youth Program by delivering green light bulbs to family and friends in support of Green Light Project during National Runaway Prevention Month. Also they chose to do paintings which were donated to Ginghamsburg Church for their “heART 4 Sudan” project fundraiser to bring clean water, agriculture, and education to the children in Darfur, Sudan, Africa.
The WIA Youth Program of Darke County is federally funded to assist youth aged 14 to 21 towards future success by providing additional resources and beneficial opportunities to develop work readiness skills, professional and leadership development, and provide supportive services along with adult mentoring to lead participants towards successful careers that fit their unique strengths.
“Each one of our young people is unique and individually gifted by strengths, and these teens and young adults want to celebrate their individuality. WIA Youth helps them do that and at the same time it helps them see that they are part of a community and something bigger than themselves”, stated Michelle Miller-Elliott, service coordinator. “In this program they see how their uniqueness can “add” to the community by discovering and giving their strengths in the form of employment and serving. The participants really enjoyed all these projects; they felt good about giving back to a community that invests in them.”
For more information about the WIA Youth Program of Darke County at Council on Rural Services, call Michelle Miller-Elliott at 937-548-8002 at the Council on Rural Services office.
Council on Rural Services… programs for innovative learning is a non-profit human service agency that provides education, support, and volunteer services through the WIA Youth Program, Gateway Youth Programs, Achievement Center for Educational Success, Kids Learning Place™, Head Start, Early Head Start, and HandsOn West Central Ohio in their nine county service area. For more information you can check the Web site at http://www.councilonruralservices.org/
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