Goodwill’s Youth program visits police department for the first time

Published: Aug. 1, 2023 at 1:52 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - In a story you’ll only see here on WDBJ7: For the first time, kids in Goodwill’s YouthHQ program visited Roanoke City’s Police Department

This is the 7th year for STEAM Camp, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. The camp exposes middle school and high school students to different careers.

Every year officers visit the kids at the headquarters, but this year kids visited law enforcement at the police station.

Officers answered questions and gave kids a tour, snacks and books. Students were also given the opportunity to complete the obstacle course at the police academy.

“We hope that they feel empowered,” said Youth Services Program Manager Jaleesa Young. “We hope that when they see a police officer in the street or in the neighborhood, they can go up to them and go ‘Hey I know you, I remember you from when I visited you during our STEAM camp.’ We hope that our students will feel safe and not afraid of the police officers.”

Program leaders said they appreciated officers for welcoming the kids.

“Embrace our officers,” added Young. “For everybody to know that they’re not here to harm us. They want to make sure we’re safe and the best way for them to do that is for us to allow them in.”

This is the first event for National Night Out. For more information, click here.