LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - In this week’s United Way Spotlight, we’re explaining what the non-profit Teen Court does and how those extra dollars go a long way.
The partnership between The United Way and Teen Court goes back to 1993.
“I will tell you, without United Way dollars, we wouldn’t be able to see 1,200 kids a year,” said Teen Court’s Executive Director, Marcia Frazer. “There’s just no way.”
Teen Court gives young, first-time offenders the chance to go before their peers to be sentenced, eliminating the need for formal charges, which would stick with them the rest of their lives.
“We’ve also reached out to schools so we process about 1,000 kids a year in 18 hours of education on faulty thinking, substance abuse, conflict resolution and anger management,” Frazer said.
Plenty of areas to improve the lives of some troubled teens, and there’s always a need for extra funding.
“We help fund different aspects of Teen Court and making sure they can stay open to continue to provide those services,” said Frank Myers, United Way’s Community Engagement Manager.
Teen Court reduces juvenile crime through intervention and gets to the bottom of why a kid may be making those mistakes. In the long run, the services help to build a better community.
“Whether you have a kid or not, you don’t want your house spray painted, your fence torn down, you don’t want anyone breaking into your car when it’s parked out front,” Myers said. “Teen Court prevents that from happening over and over again.”
Teen Court’s services are completely free to families.
The United Way’s campaign will wrap up at the end of this month. To help the organization reach its goal of $1.25 million visit their website.