EARLY YEARS: Teen Outreach Program helps teens stay on right track through community service and other activities

Family Service of Roanoke Valley works to promote healthy minds through a variety of services
Students meet and help out their community while learning valuable life skills
Published: May. 11, 2023 at 5:42 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - 16-year-old Taniya Johnson is a busy young woman, with a variety of interests, including cosmetology.

“Not really the hair part, I really like doing makeup, because you have a little bit more creativity with makeup,” she says.

Johnson also loves her job at a nursing home.

“I want to do nursing. I love helping,” says Johnson.

Johnson also takes part in the Teen Outreach Program through Family Service of Roanoke Valley. It nurtures leadership skills through community service and other activities.

“They just help you stay on track with your school -- just how you can do better in your community and stay away from trouble, and I really appreciate it,” says Johnson.

You’ll find Teen Outreach Program kids rolling up their sleeves to help out at places like Angels of Assisi and the Rescue Mission .

“Those types of programming out in the community, they focus on helping young adults learn how to make healthy decision-making skills now, and learning about themselves, so forming their own values, what’s important to them,” says Youth Development Program Manager for Family Services Megan Alpine.

Johnson says the Teen Outreach Program has made a huge and positive impact on her life.

“Because if it wasn’t for the program, I feel like I would have been somewhere else where I didn’t need to be,” she says.

Johnson says she hopes more parents will let their kids join the Teen Outreach Program, and others offered through Family Service.

“Give it a try. You never know. You might find a new family here,” says Johnson.

Parents, in case you’re interested in getting your son or daughter involved in the Teen Outreach Program, it meets at Family Services on Campbell Avenue in Downtown Roanoke Tuesday nights from 5 to 6 p.m. You can call 540-563-5316 for more information about the Teen Outreach Program and other services offered by Family Service of Roanoke Valley.

If your child is in need of counseling services, you can call the intake number here, 540-795-4653.