by Susan Richardson, reprinted from the Reclaiming Futures blog, July 19, 2012
I believe all young people can succeed.
The professionals, community members and other caring adults in Snohomish County, Washington agree.
Annie Mulligan and other generous artists in Snohomish County are mentoring young photographers through a program called Promising Artists in Recovery (PAIR), modeled after Reclaiming Futures. The PAIR program connects teens in the county's juvenile justice system with local artists. This powerful work introduces young people, like Ayrton Clements, to mentors along the road to success. Ayrton’s photography appears at right.
In January we featured Henrietta Wilson using art to rehabilitate teens. The story, by Diana Hefley from The Herald, highlights the positive experiences of young people getting second chances in life.
Experience shows that young people need positive mentors and caring adults in their lives in order to be successful. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention says that mentoring is one way to fill this need for at-risk children.
The Weekly Herald recently featured Dustin Whaley, a student in the PAIR program who received a grant to create the mural pictured at left. With that grant came a new beginning. Dustin has found an outlet for his talent -- and vision for his future -- through the PAIR program.
This is not a one-size-fits-all solution, but a caring adult is the common factor in all of these stories. Again, I believe all young people can succeed.
Dawn Williams and the rest of the team at Reclaiming Futures Snohomish County understand that everyone shares responsibility to facilitate that success.
(Photo at left by Annie Mulligan, The Herald. Photo above right by Ayrton Clements.)
Susan Richardson is national executive director for Reclaiming Futures. Formerly, she was a senior program officer in the health care division of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where she led a three-year effort involving the state's juvenile justice and treatment leaders to adopt the Reclaiming Futures model by juvenile courts in six North Carolina counties. She served on the North Carolina Governor’s Task Force for Healthy Carolinians, and is a former member of Grantmakers in Health, Southeastern Council of Foundations, the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. She received her B.S. in Public Health, Health Policy and Administration, from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.