Harrisburg Area YMCA Celebrates National Mentoring Month

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The Camp Curtin YMCA serves youth in the Harrisburg area through two very important mentoring programs, Sisters Helping Sisters and Man Up. They are highlighted in the Y's newest video campaign.

I would have to say the Y has helped my future a lot. There is always something positive to do there, and that’s the biggest thing it’s given me.” - Roy Pilsitz, 18

The Harrisburg Area YMCA participated in January’s National Mentoring Month by highlighting teens who participate in the mentoring programs at the Camp Curtin Branch in a new video presentation.

The Harrisburg Area YMCA’s mission includes an emphasis on Youth Development and has initiatives across the Association that provide educational and mentoring services to youth in the Harrisburg area. The Youth Mentoring Program at the Camp Curtin YMCA takes into account the growing needs of the Harrisburg city youth. Having grown up in Harrisburg, Executive Director Jamien Harvey is well aware of the situations many of the youth in our communities face. His goal when implementing these programs was to create a place where youth are safe and encouraged to grow. While other programs existed previously, Jamien has worked hard to gather financial support and develop programs that engage youth of all ages.

The issues surrounding the Harrisburg community and the school district have been well documented. The Dauphin County Juvenile Probation annual report of 2009 revealed that 1360 juveniles were arrested in 2009 compared to 1415 juveniles arrested in 2008 this was a decrease of 3.9%. The 1360 juveniles arrested accounted for 3321 crimes committed.

In response to these concerns, Camp Curtin provides multiple enrichment opportunities for youth to expand their horizons and build their self-esteem. Programs such as Man Up – a 10-week male mentoring program, which utilizes the Arise Life-Management Skills curriculum. Arise is an evidence based curriculum that has been used in Miami and Washington DC. The curriculum focuses on critical life skills that will mold our young men into respectable citizens. Other programs include Teen Achievers, Youth & Government, Math, Science and Technology Camp, Extended Math & Reading Afterschool Program, and Sisters Helping Sisters.

The Harrisburg School District has seen an upswing in their test scores and graduation rates. The Teen Achievers program have had a direct effect on the academic progress of school district students. Last year the Teen Achievers Program graduated 13 seniors from the program. Twelve of those seniors went on to college. Last year 60 students participated in out- of- state and in- state college tours as part of the Teen Achievers program.

The Camp Curtin YMCA has taken over all mentoring for the County. The program has expanded from a community program to referrals from Community and Youth and Juvenile Probation.

The video presentation presented by the Harrisburg Area YMCA highlights four young people impacted by the programming at the Camp Curtin YMCA.

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Rosie Turner
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