Troubled Teen Options

Troubled teenagers rarely experience success

No matter how elaborate or how simple programs for troubled teens may be, they all attempt to inculcate the juvenile offender with what it feels like to have a sense of accomplishment. Troubled teenagers rarely experience success or understand what it’s like to organize, plan and execute an idea and see it to its conclusion. By providing juveniles with opportunities to create and produce and gain a small sense of mastery over their world gives them a sense of what they are capable of if they have the right training and tools. The opportunity could be as simple as creating a community garden.

Gardening Class a Success

“Class time is all about getting dirty, now that the gardening project on the grounds of the Cowlitz County Juvenile Detention Center is in full swing. “Working outside is a lot better than working inside,” said Loowit High School senior Geolle Davy, as he shoveled and wheel barrowed dirt into planting beds Thursday. “I like to work with my hands,” added his classmate Joseph Bangs, a junior at Loowit, who was digging too. Established a year ago, the garden gives juvenile offenders and students in Kelso’s alternative school a chance to do hands-on work that teaches them pride of ownership, teachers and volunteers say. “They say ‘I grew this,’ they feel good about that,” said Gary Fredricks, director of Cowlitz County’s Washington State University Extension Service, which helps supervise the students. Most of the students have never gardened before and feel disconnected with their food source, Fredrick’s said. Gardening let’s them “see the cycle.” (Unknown source) By Ann Walker