Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Back Row Left to Right: Amiee Nelson (Gateway Youth Advocate Intern), Becky Swisher (McDonalds North), Keith Parsons, Curtis Wagner, Mateo Cantu, Katelyn Brodrick, Latisha Bell (McDonalds South), Robb Fulker (Gateway Youth Advocate /Jump Start Facilitator). Front Row Left to Right: James Maloy, Gabrielle Boettcher.
Group Members not pictured: Hunter Brown, Katie Agee, Jaramiah Byrd, Dustin Rose
Jump Start is an after-school program at Gateway Youth Programs that focuses on youth ages 11 through 15 years of age. This program runs for approximately ten-weeks and incorporates supportive services and group activities under the guidance of Robb Fulker, Facilitator and Gateway Youth Advocate and Aimee Nelson, an Intern with Gateway Youth Programs. “Rather than the traditional concept of learning from a board and having them fill out worksheets, I decided to try a different approach with this group”, Fulker said.

The main focus of the group is to educate, fine tune and enhance the youth’s skills that they already possess. The topics covered in Jump Start are to help the youth improve socialization and peer relationships, develop and maintain team building and communication skills, and how to give and earn respect. Additionally they work to establish, set, and follow personal short and long term goals, learn to recognize and manage stressors, work on conflict resolution or focus on ways of producing positive ideas and how they can work within their local communities. Jump Start is held weekly on Wednesdays from 3:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. at Gateway Youth Programs in Greenville.

“An additional goal of this program is to help youth gain the skills necessary to deal with the many challenges within their families and lives”, Nelson said.

As a learning venture, the group started a Ronald McDonald House project by initially just donating pop tabs and pop cans. The group, was able to establish a productive plan accounting for all of the pop tabs and cans, and worked together through patience and determination to have them all collected and ready to go by the eighth week, Fulker said.

According to Nelson, “The group communicated well with one another, and together, was able to collect over 244 cans and over 6,910 pop tabs”. The venture was considered a success for the youth and for Ronald McDonald House.

The Gateway Youth Programs continues to provide one-on-one case management services to include home and/or school visits, crisis interventions, non-therapeutic counseling, referrals, advocacy in the local school and community and collaboration with other social service agencies. The staff works very closely with the family as a unit and strives to keep the family intact. Services are individual and family focused. For more information about Gateway Youth Programs contact Kelly Harrison, Programs Support Specialist at (937)-548-8002

Gateway Youth Programs is a program of Council on Rural Services …programs for innovative learning that supports youth in Darke and Shelby Counties. For more information check the Web site at www.councilonruralservices.org or like our Facebook page.

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