The Youth Support Center – A Unique, Community Based Ministry
Sunrise’s Youth Support Center (YSC) in London, KY is a unique, community based ministry designed to serve clients and families in their home communities through a unique partnership with the Laurel County Fiscal Court. Existing for over fifteen years, the YSC program is an intensive outpatient after-school program for identified at-risk youth that serves as an alternative to juvenile detention as well as a therapeutic intervention for those teens and their families struggling with a variety of issues.
Anna is a 17-year-old that was court ordered to the YSC for 30 days on charges of assault. She was defending her younger sister on the school bus because she was being bullied. Anna has had to become her sisters’ “parent” because her mother and step father are doing and dealing drugs. Anna and her sisters have lived with relatives, in their car, and motel rooms throughout her childhood.
“My mother is like a teenager, she has all new clothes that are too sexy and gets a tan and her nails done every other week,” according to Anna.
Even though Anna is grateful that they are living in much better conditions she still does not have enough clothing or sufficient supplies for school. She and her sisters are often neglected and do not have medical cards.
In spite of all these obstacles, including not having a computer to do school work on, Anna consistently gets A’s and B’s. The only class she has ever failed is English and that was due to the constant moves from one school district to another. Through the Toyota Grant, Anna has been able to work on making up the English credit because she has access to a computer and the help of a tutor. YSC has given her food to take home to her sisters, clothing from donations and the support needed to survive a life with parents that are not there for her. She is looking into colleges now and plans on attending college next year in a nursing program.
Written by Christi Moffett, Sr. Director of Marketing at Sunrise.