Troubled Teen Options

Teen Programs Teach Hard Work

Programs for troubled teens that emphasize hard work, discipline, critical thinking and leadership skills go a long way towards diverting teens at risk from self-destructive behavior. Too many teens grow up without witnessing the daily ritual of parents headed off for work. Many of these teens have no idea how to even apply for a job, let alone training that makes them employable. But if you give the young man or woman a ‘leg up’, it can turn their life around. “It is very hard work,” Pasha said of the Forest Service work. “Through work, these youth not only earn money, they prepare themselves for life through self-development, self-reliance and by developing a sense of opportunity.”

Teen Programs Are All Over The US

Pasha relayed the story of one young Tacoma man, short on self-confidence, who had dropped out of high school. “He was heading in the wrong direction, but we took him in and he joined the work crew,” Pasha said. “Over time, he became a crew leader, and eventually became a member of our staff. The young man decided to go back to school, enroll in college and explore his options for a career in the Forest Service.” (unknown source) Collaboration between the local unions, private businesses and the local Urban League made this teen program possible, an excellent example of how communities working together can go far in providing their disadvantaged youth with pathways to a future. By Ann Walker