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Formerly homeless youths find support through non-profit group
A non-profit group aims to teach and assist high-risk youths who are coming off the streets.
Children who enroll at the Youth Education Center (YEC) are formerly homeless and have moved from an emergency shelter into an apartment, said program communication manager Kathryn Lecklider.
While their families work toward stabilizing their homes and incomes, the education center creates an environment to build healthy relationships and continued learning with the children.
Hilltop resident Samantha Plewes attended the program when she was 11 years old. When she entered high school, she was no longer eligible to continue as a student and came back as an intern.
Plewes said she volunteers her time to the program whenever possible and has developed an emotional attachment to the center.
She wishes to raise awareness about the program, hoping to shed light on an organization that does so much for at-risk youths in the community.
YEC helps an average of 50 children per year, Lecklider said.
“It’s a smaller program, but a core group,” Lecklider said. “We like to make an impact with those we’re serving.”
According to Lecklider, the program is part of the Volunteers of America. It is fully funded through their parent organization, she said.
The YEC partners with Columbus City Schools to provide tutoring and teachers to educate its students. In the evenings, the children participate in a number of recreational activities, which are ran by student volunteers.
To make a donation to YEC, call the Volunteers of America at 252-6561 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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