PHILIPPI, W.Va. – One summer program is helping youth in Barbour County learn about the workforce and gain knowledge in drug prevention.
The Chestnut Ridge Epicenter held a ribbon cutting for The VIPER Ball return system in its newly constructed gymnasium. Also, there was a graduation for what center officials are calling “15 great kids” in the 2021 Prevention Works program.
“We all assume that some young people are taught to work, others don’t even have it in their background. So, we are a nonprofit organization that believes that young people need to be given as many opportunities to learn and try, and also earn money,” said Ruston Seaman, Director of New Vision Renewable Energy.
The night was filled full of fun activities like the GLOlympic event involving a pitching contest, a basketball shooting contest, a dodge ball throwing contest, and a soccer kicking contest.
“So, our center itself has been built by young people in our community. They have to be given a little bit of guidance, but they are very proud of their work,” Seaman said. “Summer is a really important time in life, and you either make progress, a lot of kids when they’re not in school they drift and unfortunately the summer opportunities with COVID were less, you know, and they are not picking back up at a very high level. So, most of the kids find now they have a positive group to be a part of.”
Seaman said they have had ten different community leaders come and speak to the youth about many things such as work ethics and drug prevention while getting to know the local community leaders. A cookout was also held to feed those that were in attendance to participate and watch the games and enjoy some fellowship.