Teen Outreach Program expands

A program for teenagers, proven to keep students in school and successful, will expand its services for the 2014-15 school year.

Volunteers of America of North Louisiana implemented the national Wyman’s Teen Outreach Program®, focused on life skills, healthy behaviors, and community service for the first time last year. It served 115 teenagers in six different groups throughout the city.

For the upcoming year, we will be able to serve up to 200 students, and we expect to expand the number and location of groups. Pre-registration began July 1.

TOP is open to teens ages 12-17. The free program emphasizes life skills such as resiliency, academic achievement, compassion, values, conflict resolution, and goal setting. Teens are divided by age groups and participate in clubs once a week after school for activities, discussion and community service projects.

The Wyman Center has been addressing the needs of economically disadvantaged teens in St. Louis for more than 100 years. Eventually, they started replicating TOP® with community agencies around the country. Through their studies, the program has produced the following results:

52% lower risk of suspension

60% lower risk of class failure

53% lower risk of teen pregnancy

To pre-register or for more information, see the website www.voanorthla.org/top or call Jennifer Stinson at 221-8404.

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