2013 Director’s Community Leadership Awards
||Big Brothers Big Sisters Columbia NW Second Chance Program
|Tami Wallis accepts the award on behalf of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Columbia NW Second Chance Program.
The Portland Division honors the Big Brothers Big Sisters Columbia NW Second Chance Program, which helps youth who are involved with the juvenile justice system. Accepting the award on behalf of the organization is Tami Wallis.
The Second Change Program began in 2010, pairing troubled youth with mentors to reduce recidivism and promote a safer community. The program is designed for youth ages 12-17 who are struggling with substance abuse, truancy, and antisocial behaviors. The youth are referred to the program by parole and probation officers, caseworkers, parents and guardians, and other social service providers. Those who volunteer to mentor the youth are adults who were previously involved in the justice system, educators, lawyers, police officers, retired military, members of the faith-based community, and others who have a passion for working with older high-risk youth.
Once in the program, the youth are assigned a mentor who encourages the development of positive behavior while offering guidance on transitioning back into the community, finishing their education, and envisioning their goals for the future as a productive, crime-free young adult. Within a short time, the 33 local youth currently in the program have experienced improvements in their self-confidence, scholastic competency, grades, and parental trust.