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3 Steps To Serve At-Risk Youth

3 Steps To Serve At-Risk Youth

 

Click to play a trailer

Premiering 9/21/12 in a theater near you.

Unconditional is more than a movie, it is a call to action. The heart of Unconditional is to be a tool that brings greater awareness and support to organizations serving “at-risk” children & youth.

Who is “At-Risk”?

We use the term “at-risk” youth very loosely today.  The definition may vary from person to person, but we can all agree there are youth all around us that are crying out for attention, love, and guidance.

Which following characteristics do you use to define an “at-risk” youth?

  • abused by someone
  • homeless or transient
  • receive a reduced lunch at school
  • frequently absent from school
  • sexual active
  • not proficient at reading
  • experienced a trauma
  • dropped out of school
  • a pregnant teen
  • exhibits behavioral problems
  • substance abuse
  • committed a crime
  • has a disability or illness
  • neglecting parents
  • displays actions of a bully

Any or many of these could be the characteristics of an at-risk youth.  In fact those that are at risk are greater than the youth themselves.  There are families and communities that are at-risk and produce more at-risk youth.   Consider the following questions as the Lord leads you to serve those in need. . .

What are they at risk of?

This is yet another broad definition that ranges from dropping out of school, to low paying jobs, to unemployment, to pregnancy, to substance abuse, to criminal behavior, to even DEATH.  

How can we help?

We can’t assume that at-risk youth don’t care anymore.  They yearn for someone to take the time to understand, accept and guide them.  If we look deep enough we will see their message is “Don’t give up on me.” 

Stop and invest in an at-risk youth around you.  Dedicate a few hours month to listen, encourage, and engage in their interests (movies, art, sports, etc).  Experience your skills and passions with them (a hobby, your family, outdoor activity, etc).

Call to Action

There are many organizations that offer services to these youth and their families and it is an easy way for you to connect personally and make a difference.

  1.  Watch, support, and share the movie Unconditional which brings awareness to this growing issue in our communities. Click the image above to see a trailer.  If you are a ministry or church take a group to see Unconditional – click this link to see how TO LEARN MORE ABOUT “MEET ME AT THE MOVIES” CLICK HERE.
  2.  Visit The Unconditional website  to search and connect with organizations that serve at-risk youth in your area.
  3.  Go do it . . .consistently and with love!

Sharing your time could be the turning point of a life being used for the Kingdom of God.

______________________________

References:

Understanding At-Risk Youth and Intervention Programs that Help Them Succeed in School by Janis Kay Dobizl

Defining the Term At Risk by Kristin Anderson Moore, Ph.D

National Center for School Engagement

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2 Responses

  1. The foundation that I am associated with developed an extensive life skills curriculum for exactly the youth you refer to in your article. It has been a blessing that so many community based organizations have adopted these fine and effective materials to give these troubled youth another chance in life.

    The film says it all. Glad to see that you found the subject of at-risk youth worthy of a full length movie!

    Laura

  2. You gave such a clear definition of “who is At Risk” ?and you indicated many characteristics of at-risk youth. I think your movie can be a good one to share with many adults who feel that many kids especially those that are in juvenile justice facilities should be locked up and forgotten about. This is a crime in itself. They need a caring person who can listen to them guide them and give them love. One word can change a youngsters life. Your video shown to people can help them recruit mentors for their organizations, and at the same time convince people to donate funds to organizations working to help these at risk youth. It’s important to understand that life skills are not inherited, they must be taught. We can help by taking the time to understand, accept, guide and teach them the important life skills necessary to become productive members of society.

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