Metro East youth program preparing kids to be productive in the - KMOV.com

Metro East youth program preparing kids to be productive in the community

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A youth mentorship program in the Metro East is preparing kids in the classroom to be productive in the community. A youth mentorship program in the Metro East is preparing kids in the classroom to be productive in the community.

FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill. (KMOV.com) – A youth mentorship program in the Metro East is preparing kids in the classroom to be productive in the community.

Last year, the Youth Interaction Program started with nine young men and has grown into a group of 25 boys and girls. The group meets twice a week at the Urban League in Fairview Heights and they go out on different outings to learn how to be successful.

The program teaches the students interviewing skills and they talk about tough topics, including drugs and bullying.  

The program’s founder says he simply wanted to find something fun and safe for kids to get involved in so he partnered with police, the city and local churches to make it happen.

“We believe that if we can help youth avoid crime avoid drugs and be productive in the community it’s worth it you can’t put a price on that,” said Derrick King, president of the Youth Interaction Program.

The kids say the most valuable lesson they have learned is respect.

“That’s the main thing that they teach us how to get a job, what you got to do to get to college it’s helping you grow up to be a better person in the community,” said 15-year-old Keenan Smith.

The program is free and open to anyone in the area, not just those in Fairview Heights.

The program’s founder hopes to expand it to other communities.

Click here to learn more about the program. 

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