Tonight around the Campfire, we hear about a story of learning, overcoming, redemption, and second chances… where your stories are told… This is theirs…
Since mid year, 2018, we have been in communication, and brainstorming with the Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center. They have a vision, to help intervene in the lives of youth between the ages of 11-20, who have been adjudicated of crimes. Through a mixture of counseling services, therapeutic approaches, and programming ranging from recreation to religious and many volunteer opportunities, the Bon Air staff work to help their residents build the skills necessary to re-enter society in a positive direction. And they have invited us to be part of their journey!
For the past six months we have had the chance to work with Community Managers, Community Coordinators, Security staff, resident youth, and administrative staff to help begin conversations. Conversations with staff and how they connect with one another and their residents. Conversations with residents about managing emotions, and redefining failure.
Using our Common Ground program, we are working through a rotation of programs that has allowed us to work with EVERY SINGLE unit that they have at the center. They have truly given us a HUGE opportunity to impact these youth. Here are the numbers to add some perspective:
Number of Units: 17
Number of residents in each unit: Avg. 10
Number of staff that we work with in each session: Avg. 4
Total number impacted: Approx. 238
What an opportunity! Each program, we have the opportunity to reflect on emotions, behaviors, reactions, and group norms, and from the residents’ conversations: how to overcome their personal struggles. These conversations are humbling. These individuals truly engage with the process of learning with us by experiencing. There has already been talks of continuing this work to do an additional round with many or all of the units. While it seems like a huge undertaking, the staff of the Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center are so supportive, and ready to help. And the residents have been VERY welcoming to top it off.