Local program aims to turn at-risk youth's lives around

Posted at: 09/06/2013 11:24 PM
By: Joangel Concepcion

Rochester teens who were once in serious trouble, reached a milestone Friday. The Action for a Better Community Organization ceremony comes on the heels of a violent week in the city.

The organization has helped more than a hundred teens turn their lives around..About a dozen teens completed the Milestone program today. Organizers are hoping their stories will help motivate others headed down the wrong path.

Some of these students were in serious trouble with the law or kicked out of school, with no where to turn. Organizers said they wanted you to see the ceremony, as something positive in a community that's seen a lot of violence this week.

Christopher Bell, of Youth Services said, “When you see these young men and women when they come to the program, they are so broken down and hurt but when you look at the way they look today compared to the way they look then it's such a major difference.”

It was a short walk to get their certificate of completion, but it's been a long road. For these young men and women..

“Each week they would come in and you would see that the burdens were lifting, it felt a little bit lighter, they smiled more,” said Bell.

Through the milestone program-they learned about making positive decisions, the importance of education and even about nutrition.

18-year-old Daryl Session says the program also taught him to value himself, and the people who love him.

“If I wasn't a part of this program. I would be a problem for this family. I've given them issues that they needed-that, I’m trying to make up for,” said Session.

His family, like many others who attended the ceremony, never gave up, boosting their confidence, reassuring they did the right thing.

“I’m glad i took this path so i can do better in life,” said Session.

These men and women can now look at the future ahead, and motivate others who are lost like they once were.

“Even though it may look like there's nothing but negativity, you can always find a more positive light to shine in,” said Session.

If you fear your teen may be headed down the wrong road-or if you-are hoping for change, The milestone program is open. You will not be turned away, but they say you must have a passion or desire to make change for yourself. All you need to do is call 325-5116.