Meeting a chance to help community

Area residents will have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of area young people Thursday afternoon when officials from the Jefferson County Juvenile Court hold a townhall meeting at Harding Middle School.

The event, which is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m., has been organized to discuss a potential mentoring program and to generate ideas about how our area can save young people from the many pitfalls they face and show them a life with purpose.

Organized by Fred Abdalla Jr., the court’s chief probation officer, with the support of Judge Joseph M. Corabi, the meeting will help lay the groundwork for that program.

According to Abdalla, our community must develop ways to identify at-risk young people sooner and provide them with better options.

In an open letter inviting area residents to attend Thursday’s meeting, Abdalla said his goal is to give young people in Jefferson County a sense of purpose by teaching them life skills. He added that a goal of the program is to teach young people that their problems don’t need to be solved by guns and drugs but through education and by learning skills, things that will allow them to obtain jobs and be productive members of society.

The need for the program is great, Abdalla points out, saying that every day the court sees young people who suffer from a wide range of problems, from not attending school, to theft, to possession of firearms to other delinquent behavior. That not only hurts the individuals involved – it damages our community on many different levels.

We hope that area residents who have an interest, a skill or an idea that could be of help to the program will attend Thursday’s meeting and become involved.

By doing so, you will be taking advantage of a chance to help area young people and be taking big steps toward improving the lives of everyone who lives in our region.