Youth Guidance Mentoring Academy was awarded a $47,924 grant from the John’s Island Foundation to acquire a brand new, 15-passenger van.
The van, purchased from Dyer Chevrolet in Vero Beach, is being used daily to transport Indian River County children from local schools to Youth Guidance, where they receive a healthy meal and participate in afterschool mentoring programs.
Youth Guidance now has two vans in its fleet, both donated by the John’s Island Foundation.
“The majority of our parents are unable to leave work to drive their children to our building after school,” said Phil Barnes, Youth Guidance Executive Director. “With the new van, we have expanded our transportation capacity so that more children can benefit from our services.”
Youth Guidance provides free meals and mentoring programs that include after-school tutoring, website design, bicycle repair, sewing, cooking, gardening, boat mechanics, and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math).
Youth Guidance also offers an eight-month pre-apprenticeship program, providing young adults ages 16-24 with six professional certifications and experience in five different trades: Welding, plumbing, carpentry, HVAC, and electric.
Acquiring the new van has allowed Youth Guidance to double the number of schools on its transportation route from 3 to 6. As a result, overall enrollment grew from 69 students in November 2021 to 97 students in November 2022, an increase of 40.6%.
Youth Guidance anticipates serving 250 children and young adults (ages 5-24) this year.
Youth Guidance Mentoring Academy is dedicated to enriching the lives of Indian River County youth through mentoring relationships that inspire trust, self-esteem, and positive futures. Founded in 1973, Youth Guidance provides daily meals as well as one-on-one and group mentoring programs to children and young adults ages 5-24 with limited resources. Programs focus on academic enrichment, life skills, and vocational training.
If you are interested in learning more about Youth Guidance Mentoring Academy or making a donation, please call 772.492.3933, or visit our website at www.youthguidanceprogram.org.