Reach Our Youth (ROY) is a mentoring program that matches volunteers with local, disadvantaged youth, age 6-18, in a one-to-one relationship. We also provide group activities for kids and volunteers in the program. You can find out more about those activities here.
Many of the youth are in need of a good role model and an extra friend to share life's experiences. ROY aims to help youth grow into well-adjusted adults who contribute positively to their community. We do this by matching caring volunteers with a child who needs some extra attention. Those volunteers meet with their mentee once a week and are encouraged to form a supportive friendship with the youths, as opposed to modifying the youth’s behavior or character. Mentors can be anyone 16 and up and must be able to pass a criminal, background, and reference check.
Watch the video below to learn more about what we do.
History of Reach Our Youth
Reach Our Youth was developed in 1980 under the late Judge Thomas Heydinger, the juvenile and probate court judge who preceded Judge Cardwell. Judge Heydinger formed a Juvenile Court Advisory Board composed of 14 citizens and tasked them to conduct a study of the youth services in Huron County and present any ideas that could be of benefit in the future. ROY was a direct result of that study. By 1983, ROY had 71 volunteers and had group activities that involved trips to Geauga Lake Amusement Park, Cleveland Indians ball games, the Shriner Circus and Christmas Shows at Towne and Country Theatre.
In the years since, ROY has ebbed and flowed in the activities and programs provided to clientele. At one point, ROY planned and implemented parenting classes and foster care placements. Today, the program focuses on the one-to-one mentoring relationships and providing programming that helps children grow into competent, creative and caring adults.