“God has a good plan for me …”
Diakon Youth Services’ predisposition program helps young man recognize values
Lancaster, Pa. Thursday November 21, 2019
Faced with the consequences of what he recognized were bad mistakes and poor choices, “Kyle” admitted he was tired of “playing the bad boy act” and was ready to change.
“What I did was a one-time thing,” the high school senior says. “I want to actually do something with my life. I’m trying to learn what I can, so I can better myself for the future.”
Enrolled in the predisposition initiative offered by Diakon Youth Services’ Bridge Program in Lancaster County, Kyle has consistently done well since the start of the school year, notes Jabreel Michael, program manager.
Kyle “is in our program for mentoring and accountability support. As a result, he is able to learn and apply new skills up until he receives his disposition,” says Michael. “He has taken some big steps forward and has demonstrated a commitment to personal growth.”
While the youth initially balked at what he heard in the program’s weekly group meetings, good things started to happen when he opened his mind to the possibilities.
“I love the work experience. It is a blessing.”
“I started listening, speaking in open conversations and being involved,” he says. “From there it sparked, and I realized it was something that was helping me out.”
Kyle’s teachers also recognized his progress and recommended him for a work-study program with nearby Millersville University. Employed in the university cafeteria, he works for several hours each day developing employment-focused skills, earning school credit and a paycheck. If he chooses, he has the opportunity to work full-time after graduation and attend the university tuition-free.
“It is my first job ever, and I honestly love it,” says Kyle, who was selected to share his experience in the program at a recent high school board meeting. “I’m proud of myself because I never thought I would have had the motivation to go out and get a job. Yet, here I am going to work every day. I love the environment. I love the work experience. It is a blessing.”
Focused on completing the predisposition program, Kyle is confident he has put his mistakes behind him and is headed in a positive direction toward graduation and his future.
“I have had some ups and downs, but I am using the support I have been given,” he says. “I know I’m not a bad kid inside. God has a good plan for me, and I am happy for it.”
Diakon Youth Services aids at-risk youths from eastern and central Pennsylvania. Beyond direct service, the program assists youths through its Second Chance Fund. The fund offers financial assistance to youths—who earn the aid through their actions—to help them meet such needs as restitution or court-cost requirements. Fulfilling those obligations is an important next step on the road to success.
Your gift to the program today, Friday, Nov. 22 will be matched by local sponsors in Lancaster County as part of “ExtraGive Day” in the county.
Please consider helping at-risk youths gain the second chance they need to become contributing members of society—and not have their entire futures defined by one poor decision.